distributes leaflets with the British
Heart Foundation's Mr. Freddie Hall
campaign message to Joyce Taylor in
A LISBURN man has spoken of how one glance at
a poster almost certainly saved his life.
As Northern Ireland marked its first 'Chest
Pain Awareness Day' Jim Mulholland described how he was struck
with a severe bout of this potentially deadly symptom just after
getting off a bus following a round of golf.
As he walked away from the bus stop he
glanced at a billboard. This revolved to reveal the British
Heart Foundation Northern Ireland's poster 'Doubt Kills' which
aimed to make people aware of the need to seek urgent medical
attention in the event of experiencing chest pain.
"I just glanced at the poster and there was this
message telling me that a chest pain was my body saying 'call
999'," he explained. "The timing was absolutely unbelievable, it
was like divine intervention. I realised at that point I had no
choice. I had to call 999 immediately."
The ambulance arrived within 10 minutes and
paramedics told Jim he was having a heart attack. At the
hospital he was given clot-busting drugs, and soon after this
was administered the pain subsided. Jim went on to need triple
Heart disease causes one in five premature
deaths. The condition remains the leading cause of early death
in the country with more than 900 people under 75 losing their
lives in 2005.
The Awareness Day which was supported by the
Northern Ireland Ambulance Service was part of BHF Northern
Ireland's ongoing 'Doubt Kills' campaign. This urges people
experiencing chest pain or other heart attack symptoms to call
Judy O Sullivan, Cardiac Nurse at the BHF,
said: "These new statistics remind us that coronary heart
disease is still the biggest killer in Northern Ireland. But
many of these deaths are avoidable if people know how to
recognise heart attack symptoms and act quickly.
"Chest Pain Awareness Day is about
encouraging people to call 999 immediately if they suspect they
are having a heart attack. Doubting your symptoms and delaying
action can kill.
"Thousands of people in Northern Ireland can
testify to the fact that heart attacks are not always as they
are portrayed on TV. Many of those who have died will have had
some form of warning which they may not have realised was the
beginning of a heart attack. "The pain can be subtle and not
always seem immediately serious, so it can be easy to dismiss or
Backing the BHF campaign, Liam Mclvor, Chief
Executive of the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, said:
"People need to know that we want them to call 999 if they are
experiencing chest pain. It might or might not be a heart attack
- but if you re not sure, let us make that decision.
"We are backing the BHF Northern Ireland's
campaign because we're all in the business of saving lives and
we'd rather attend a false alarm than arrive too late."
As part of the awareness day, BHF is re-running its iconic
advert showing an image of a man with a belt around his chest
and the words 'A chest pain is your body saying call 999'. They
are also delivering leaflets to almost 30,000 homes in Northern