Eddie Molloy visited the Irish Heart Foundation’s Mobile Health Unit (MHU) in 2017 and was advised to see his GP urgently as his blood pressure was seriously high, putting him at high risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Eddie, who is married with two daughters, recalled that he was attending the Teagasc beef farming event in Grange with his family when a chance to stop for a cup of tea saved his life.
He wasn’t feeling unwell, but he had been suffering from bad headaches which he put down to sinus problems.
Thankfully for Eddie he was invited in for a blood pressure check by Irish Heart Foundation nurses who were staffing the Mobile Health Unit opposite the tea tent at the beef event.
“It was the last place I was thinking about to be honest ….my wife was with me and we saw a tea stand and your van was parked opposite so that was grand we got tea and one of the nurses came out and she gave the two of us a shout.
“So, I went in and the blood pressure monitor was put on, the reading was high. She did it two or three times and each time the reading was higher,”
In fact, Eddie’s blood pressure was seriously high, so much so that the nurse at the Mobile Health Unit advised him to see his GP straight away. Eddie visited his GP who diagnosed him with high blood pressure, and he was put on medication straight away.
Six months later Eddie felt unwell at home and was rushed to the local hospital where he spent four days during which his blood pressure was again brought under control and his medication regime adjusted.
He recalled on one occasion after this forgetting to take his blood pressure medication one morning. He described symptoms of headaches, a heaviness in his head and not being able to function properly because of this. Once he returned home at dinnertime, he was able to take the medication and his symptoms subsequently subsided.
Today Eddie, age 58, said he is doing well. He feels it is important to be aware and manage contributing factors that relate to an increase in his blood pressure such as stress, increased alcohol intake, lack of a healthy diet and lack of exercise. In addition it is necessary to manage medication for the regulation of high blood pressure by means of taking tablets at regular intervals daily and ensuring that a prescription is filled before running out of medication.
Chatting about his experience afterwards with friends, he said he realised that a number of men around his own age, were unaware of the dangers of high blood pressure or even that it was important to get your blood pressure checked on a regular basis.
Eddie gets his blood pressure checked each year, and said:
”I encourage everyone to get checked, especially if you have a family history of high blood pressure. It’s a short, simple check and should be ticked off your list of things to do.”
To that end he said the Irish Heart Foundation’s Mobile Health Unit was an excellent service. He paid credit to the Irish Heart Foundation nurses who he said were very friendly and cared for people in a confidential and welcoming manner. The fact that it was free and easily accessible, made it more likely that men, who might not always visit their GP, should visit the Mobile Health Unit for a vital blood pressure check, he said.
Eddie said that for him the Irish Heart Foundation’s Mobile Health Unit was “a lifesaver. It is really an excellent service.
“Chances are I would probably never have gone to the doctor thinking I had high blood pressure and whether I would be around now or not I honestly don’t know …. it’s a lifesaver,”