Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke
Christmas 2017 Research Appeal

Will you give something wonderful this Christmas that nobody will ever forget? 

This year we’re asking our supporters to make a special Christmas gift to our General Medical Research Fund to support innovative research projects right here in Northern Ireland.

Medical research is the gift that enables thousands of people to live fuller, happier and longer lives.

But it is extremely expensive to fund.

In the last two years, NICHS has invested £774,000 into groundbreaking research for the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of chest, heart and stroke conditions. But without the continued support of our compassionate supporters many of the research programmes we plan to support would be cancelled. The impact this would have on the lives of thousands of people here in Northern Ireland for generations to come is immeasurable.

This Christmas could you give a gift which will help raise the funds needed to continue life-saving, life-changing medical research?

If you can, you’ll be helping fund the discovery of new cures and treatments for the biggest killer diseases in our society.

We’re currently funding an exciting research project called, “Tracking the Body for Movement Training in Stroke”. It’s just one example of the remarkable research projects we fund every year.

 

Demonstrating how the computer game works

When somebody suffers a stroke, often the most common after effects is the loss, or impairment of movement in their limbs. As you can imagine this has a hugely negative impact on their confidence, capability and independence.  The research we’re funding will investigate how computer gaming technology can be used to provide a more effective and less costly means of improving upper arm movement in people who have suffered a stroke. The project is being carried out by researchers at Queen’s University Belfast and will build upon existing research generated by the Movement Innovation Lab based at Queen’s PE Centre, Belfast.  You can read more about this exciting project by clicking here.

Undoubtedly, research saves lives, rebuilds lives and extends lives.  For some people like Lisa, a busy mum living in Belfast, who is still striving to cope with the after effects of a stroke, the results of this remarkable research project will come too late. But for thousands more people it could bring new hope for a faster and fuller recovery.

 

Lisa, with partner Adam and their children Orla, 2 and Conor, 3

On the 4th March 2015, Lisa, who liked to keep herself fit and healthy was out jogging.  With out warning she collapsed.  At the time Lisa was really excited to be 10 weeks pregnant.  Two weeks later she woke up in the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast.

Lisa had suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm, a bleed on her brain, which caused a stroke.

When she came around, Lisa’s thoughts weren’t for herself but for her unborn child. She was “absolutely terrified” as no one knew if her baby would be okay. She was also desperately worried about how she was going to take care of a new born and a toddler. It was a really hard time, emotionally for her.

Lisa was moved to the brain injury unit at Musgrave Park Hospital (RABIU) and remained there for five months. She was only able to leave just before her baby was born.  At RABIU, Lisa had to learn to walk again. But she wasn’t able to attempt walking for over a year because her ‘baby bump’ upset her balance. Instead she had to have specially adapted exercises and use a wheelchair. When she took her first small steps four people supported her while she struggled to move a few inches. Today she can walk short distances with the help of a leg splint and a walking stick.  She can even manage a few stairs, so long as there is a handrail. Sadly, because of her stroke, Lisa lost the use of her left arm which is now permanently paralysed.

At Musgrave Park Hospital Lisa was put in touch with Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke. She began attending the Belfast Young Stroke Activity Group and went on to complete PREP – a Post Rehabilitation Exercise Programme.  Lisa says, “I got so much out of PREP. I just loved it. I loved seeing how much other people improved during the programme, no matter what age they were”. Talking to people who had experienced the same difficulties gave Lisa so much hope.

Lisa fully supports funding research and believes it is “essential” to give people like her some hope.

I was so young when I had my stroke and I worry things will become much more difficult for me living with my disabilities as I get older.  There are so many people having strokes at young ages and even more people are living longer with the devastating effects of stroke. That’s why we all need to support research.  It can help save lives, as well as improving the lives of people who have suffered strokes, heart disease, or respiratory illnesses.  For people like me, any research that could help in the future would be incredible.”

Please make a donation today to support NICHS’s General Medical Research Fund. Your special Christmas gift will make a huge contribution to the lives and futures of the people affected by the most common life-threatening diseases here in your community and throughout the world.

Together we can fund a voyage of scientific and medical discovery that will help save and improve people’s lives for many years to come.

What an incredible and unforgettable Christmas gift that would be.

Please give something wonderful this Christmas. New cures, better treatments and more effective rehabilitation programmes are waiting to be discovered.

 

Thank You.