RTE broadcaster Michael Lyster signed up volunteers for the 27th Happy Heart Appeal on Friday 12 May in aid of Irish Heart.
This May Irish Heart is encouraging 3,000 volunteers in Leitrim to help sell their iconic happy hearts and raise vital funds to save lives from sudden cardiac arrest, which claims 5,000 lives in Ireland every year.
Money raised for the Happy Heart Appeal will go towards Irish Heart’s CPR programmes to create lifesavers in every community in Ireland. Starting CPR can double a person’s chance of survival.
Volunteering his time to support the appeal, RTE’s Michael Lyster stressed that he wouldn’t be here today if his wife hadn’t performed CPR when he suffered a cardiac arrest at home.
Michael said: “CPR saves lives – no-one knows this better than me. I collapsed with a cardiac arrest at home when my heart stopped beating. I wouldn’t be here today only for my wife Anne, who gave me CPR until an ambulance arrived. Without her pushing hard and fast on my chest, I would have been gone. But thanks to my wife and to CPR, I am alive here today. I’m one of the lucky ones and if more people know CPR, more lives like mine will be saved. So please, support Irish Heart and volunteer for their Happy Heart Appeal on May 12.”
According to Irish Heart’s Resuscitation expert, Brigid Sinnott, when a person suffers a cardiac arrest and they don’t receive prompt CPR or defibrillation their chance of survival decreases by 10 percent for every minute that nothing is done.
She said: “If you are a bystander when this happens and are willing to do something you can make the difference between life and death .Early CPR can double if not triple your chance of survival.
Learning CPR can give you confidence in knowing what to do when faced with a collapse and we know that anyone who has done a CPR course at any stage in their life is 10 times more likely to respond and assist in such an emergency.”
If you’d like to support the Happy Heart Appeal by volunteering a few hours of your time and selling pins on May 12, simply log on to www.irishheart.ie/happyhearts.