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'Heartlink' Ealing support group celebrates 21st birthday in style

The role of groups such as Hearlink is vital in supporting cardiology patients and their families

More than 100 guests celebrated the 21st anniversary of Heartlink, the Ealing cardiology support group.

Heart patients, families, friends,and staff from the Cardiology department at Ealing Hospital, came together at the West Middlesex Golf Club in Greenford on Friday (July 17).

Mayor of Ealing Councillor Harbhajan Kaur Dheer presented a heart-shaped award to the group’s president and founder, Professor Jaspal Kooner, consultant cardiologist at Ealing Hospital.

The Mayor was supported by Heartlink’s chairman, Trevor Davison, local MPs Virendra Sharma and Stephen Pound, together with her Consort Councillor Ranjit Dheer and representatives from the British Heart Foundation.

A warm welcome and brief history of Heartlink was provided by Mr Davison who explained that from small beginnings, Professor Kooner, together with two heart patients Ken Burt (sadly now deceased) and Geoff Roberts started the support group, which now has over 140 members.

The group meets monthly and organises talks by leading cardiologists and other medical professionals, annual holidays and social outings.

Members provide support to patients by weekly visits to the cardiology ward at Ealing Hospital, and Heartlink is currently involved in helping to launch a community fitness programme aimed at heart patients called ECG – Fitness.

Mr Kooner told attendees that 21-years-ago diagnosis with major heart problems generally resulted in retirement from work and huge stress and anxiety.

Today, many patients can continue to work and live a normal life - and the role of groups such as Heartlink is crucial in providing support and advice, encouraging healthy living and exercise, and in including families of patients in their care.

Guests enjoyed a buffet and raffle with prizes donated by local businesses, including a golf day for four, a week’s health club membership for two, makeover and hair styling vouchers, healthy eating blenders, a sandwich maker and luxury toiletries.

Those who donated gifts included West Middlesex Golf Club, Virgin Active, Tranquillity & Busbys, Tesco, Waitrose, M&S and private donations.

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