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An Taoiseach launches Happy Hearts Appeal 2014

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny congratulated PE teacher Enda Tourish for saving the life of his 16 year old pupil Ryan Callan by administering CPR after the student collapsed recently during a PE class. The incident has spurred the student, his teacher and his mother to get behind the Irish Heart Foundation’s Happy Hearts Appeal 15-17 May kindly supported by SuperValu, which is  focusing its fundraising efforts on investing in compression-only CPR awareness and education for the nation.

CEO of the Irish Heart Foundation Barry Dempsey said: “People who have been trained in CPR are 10 times more likely to attempt CPR in the event of an emergency than people who have not.  Sometimes people are afraid in case they cause harm and we need to spread the message that starting CPR won’t cause harm but it can double a person’s chance of survival by maintaining blood flow to the brain.”

Hospital nursing staff warned Ryan’s family to be prepared for the worst as the student was put into a medically induced coma to allow his body to recover from the incident. But the student defied all expectations when he made a full recovery thanks to the quick thinking of his PE teacher and the staff and pupils at Our Lady’s School in Castleblayney, Co.  Monaghan.

Every day in Ireland, 13  lives are lost to sudden cardiac arrest and people of all ages die from it, even babies, children and teens. According to the Irish Heart Foundation two thirds of cardiac arrests happen at home and half of these happen in front of someone.

With the support of local SuperValu retailers, the Irish Heart Foundation’s Happy Hearts Appeal aims to raise a target of €500,000 to make adults and young people CPR-aware this autumn and reduce the number of lives lost to sudden cardiac arrest around the country. The money will be raised through the sale of happy heart badges for €2 on-street by volunteers and in SuperValu stores.

Martin Kelleher, Managing Director, SuperValu added: “We are delighted to support the Irish Heart Foundation’s 25th Happy Hearts Appeal this May. We believe in local, we care about the communities in which we do business and our retailers work hard to support and help build sustainable communities. Through our network of 223 stores we will ensure that we help to deliver this essential CPR awareness and education campaign to save lives from sudden cardiac arrest. Every-day we hear stories that reiterate the importance of CPR in people’s daily lives, be that in their local SuperValu, local club or local community hall.  As a business that sees over 2 million people through its doors each week, we are very aware of the importance of this lifesaving appeal.”

For many years survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest was less than 1% in Ireland. This figure is has now risen to 5.2%  thanks to the Irish Heart Foundation, which has the largest resuscitation training network in Ireland, and other groups working in this area. In 2012, 93 people were discharged from hospital to home after cardiac arrest and these people survived because somebody nearby started CPR and used an AED (automated external defibrillator). The national charity fighting heart disease and stroke aims to double this survival rate to 10% by spreading awareness and educating the population so they can start CPR in an emergency.

Join a Happy Hearts team today! Register now on www.happyhearts.ie , email happyheart@irishheart.ie or call the Irish Heart Foundation head office on 01-6685001.

The Irish Heart Foundation is the national charity fighting heart disease and stroke and relies on public donations for 95 per cent of income. The Irish Heart Foundation is committed to best practice in fundraising and adheres to the Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising, promoting transparency, honesty and accountability.

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