Weekly Stroke Support Service Comes to Tallaght

Irish Heart and Tallaght Hospital will launch a “vital service” for stroke survivors with an information evening in Tallaght on May 25th.

The event will be held at the Maldron Hotel on Whitestown Way from 7pm to 8.30pm and will feature speakers including Dr. Ronan Collins, Consultant Physician at Tallaght Hospital, Dr. Aine Connolly, Clinical Neuropsychologist at Tallaght Hospital and Chris Macey, Head of Advocacy, Irish Heart Foundation.

The new initiative is part of a national network of weekly stroke clubs being developed by Irish Heart, which launched an important document, the Stroke Manifesto, in April.

Research among stroke survivors revealed the high importance they place on weekly support to aid their recovery- this weekly service will replace the monthly group that has been run by the stroke team in Tallaght Hospital.

The aim of the group is to offer support, assistance, advice and physical therapies, as well as a social outlet, to stroke survivors and their carers.

Membership for the weekly meetings, which will start in June at Rua Red, is free and will be open to anyone who has had a stroke, or been affected by the condition.

Dr. Collins, Director of Stroke Services in Tallaght Hospital said: “A stroke is an illness in which part of the brain is suddenly damaged by interruption of normal blood supply and can be caused by blockage (clot) or rupture (bleed) in the pipes (arteries) supplying blood to our brain .

“After acute hospital treatment Rehabilitation and support services are crucial in helping to minimise the effects of stroke and help return a person to as full a life as possible .This journey can be difficult and we are delighted to partner with Irish Heart to provide a weekly Support Group to all those in Tallaght affected by stroke.”

Strokes can have very different affects on different people – depending on the type of stroke, the area of the brain affected and the extent of the brain injury – and the impact can range from very mild to severe or even fatal.

Sudden onset of weakness of Face, Arm or affected Speech means Time is of the essence (FAST) in getting to hospital.

FAST symptoms are some of the commonest symptoms of stroke – but sudden onset of severe headache , Impaired balance, visual loss , sudden confusion can be others.

Chris Macey, Head of Advocacy in Irish Heart said: “Research carried out for Irish Heart by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland shows that weekly support groups are vital in assisting stroke survivors to regain their independence and improve their quality of life. We are determined to ensure that stroke sufferers in Tallaght and every community in the country have access to a support group.”

Those who wish to attend the information meeting in the Maldron Hotel, Tallaght on May 25th can email [email protected] or phone contact Nicola Cogan or Suzanne Greene Stroke Nurse Specialists on 414 3219.

There is free underground parking at the hotel and attendees are asked to please RSVP before Friday May 19th.

Irish Heart launched its Stroke Manifesto in April and has delivered a comprehensive plan for dealing with stroke across the country.

Irish Heart is also celebrating the launch of the Happy Hearts Appeal today, with special pins designed by Orla Kiely on sale around Ireland.