Kind-hearted Limerick family raise funds for life-saving campaign

Aine Fitzgerald

Reporter:

Aine Fitzgerald

Deirdre and Helen McGuire presenting a cheque of �2,600 to Mary Moorhead, CEO, Mater Foundation and Catherine ODonnell, nurse specialist
A COUNTY Limerick family who took part in the Great Limerick Run to raise awareness of the Mater Hospital’s Family Heart Screening Clinic have been thanked for their generous endeavour.

A COUNTY Limerick family who took part in the Great Limerick Run to raise awareness of the Mater Hospital’s Family Heart Screening Clinic have been thanked for their generous endeavour.

The McGuire family from Ballybricken have been screened through the Family Heart Screening Clinic at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital and last February played a huge part in raising awareness of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS) for the Mater Heart Campaign.

Mary McGuire did the Great Limerick Run with her mum Deirdre and her sister Helen.

“We were delighted to highlight the campaign. It’s fantastic to raise money for it and we want to thank everyone who donated,” said Mary who helped raise over €2,600 for the cause. “People were extremely generous,” she added.

Mary’s sister Martina sadly passed away in her sleep 10 years ago aged just 17.

Martina went to bed that night and was found the next morning. The family did not know the cause of her sudden death for a long period of time.

Mary who is from Ballybricken was in America when her cousin Sarah suffered a sudden cardiac arrest.

Mary was then screened in America but two cardiologists over there said she was OK and tests came back negative.

When Mary came back to Ireland she was screened in the Family Heart Screening Clinic with Dr Catherine McGorrian and the team. In March 2012 she was fitted with a defibrillator. After several trips to the Family Heart Screening Clinic, Mary was diagnosed with Long QT Syndrome.

“The staff in Heart House couldn’t be any nicer, helpful and sincere,” said Mary. “The work they put into testing/screening families in Ireland goes without notice, without them there would be a lot more tragic SADS incidents in the country”.

The Family Heart Screening Clinic is solely funded by public donations and to date has not received any government funding.

Mary Moorhead, chief executive of the Mater Foundation said: “On behalf of the Mater Foundation and all the staff in the Family Heart Screening Clinic I would like to say a huge thank you to the McGuire family and friends who raised much needed funds and awareness of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome through their fundraising. Support like this from people like the McGuires is invaluable and has added to the great development in the clinic since it opened in 2007. We hope it will continue for many years to come.”

In Ireland, more than one person under the age of 35 dies suddenly from an undiagnosed heart condition each week.

The Heart Appeal at the Mater Foundation raises much-needed funds for the Mater Hospital’s Family Heart Screening Clinic, where relatives of loved ones, who have died from SADS (Sudden Adult Death Syndrome) or survived a Sudden Cardiac Arrest, can be screened for undiagnosed heart conditions. The screening allows the medical team to make important diagnoses in over one-third of families who attend because of a sudden unexpected death of a close family member. See www.materfoundation.ie