Living With a Heart Condition at age 11

Living with a heart condition when you’re 11 is no fun, until Ciaran found kids camp.

In April 2016, the Irish Heart Foundation’s Kids Camp was held at the Barretstown facility in Kildare for the very first time – and it was a huge success. One of its happiest campers was young Ciaran Slater from Limerick.

The 11-year old had the time of his life at Kids Camp – and he’s one brave lad who deserves some fun.

Four years ago, Ciaran was ice-skating at Christmas with his family in Dublin when he collapsed and fainted. An ECG test later showed up an irregularity in his heartbeat and the youngster was then diagnosed with a heart condition called Long QT Syndrome.

It was a devastating blow: playing football with his pals was no longer an option with his condition and meant he now had to avoid competitive sports in favour of activities like walking, cycling and golf.

A weekend of fun and activities

That’s why the trip to Kids Camp was so important. Ciaran was able to take part in fun activities, in an environment especially designed for children like him, with inherited heart conditions.

A weekend of fun was provided free of charge for 23 families – including 53 children – from across Ireland.

More than half the kids who attended have the heart conditions Long QT Syndrome and Cardiomyopathy – and it was to help kids like these that Kids Camp was first launched in 2014.

Safe place to play around, make friends and get support

From the start, Kids Camp has been a safe place where kids can have fun, meet other children just like them and build real friendships.

For the first time, this year’s event also brought a qualified child psychologist on site and offered a therapeutic recreation programme for kids who needed a little extra support learning to live with their condition.

Thank you!

It’s the generous support of Irish Heart supporters that makes these life-changing weekends happen. We thank you so much! And we look forward to seeing Ciaran and his new pals at the next Kids Camp!

Do you or someone you know have a heart condition?

For more information, please see our Heart Conditions Explained articles – such as Long QT Syndrome, Cardiomyopathy. There are also many support groups in Ireland for heart conditions, take a look at the Long QT Syndrome Support Group and the Cardiomyopathy Support Group. And please never hesitate to get in touch.

More Stories

My daughter had two strokes when she was just a three-year-old toddler

Learn More

A Heart Attack at 34, I knew I had to make changes

Learn More

I ignored the signs and family history of heart disease

Learn More

Join us to help end premature deaths from heart and stroke disease

Speak to our National Heart & Stroke Helpline Nurses

Need to talk? Freephone 1800 25 25 50 Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm, Thurs till 7pm

Chat to us online