Baby Joe and family support Jolly Jumper Day

"Wee Joe" Degnan had heart surgery at Birmingham Children's Hospital. INLT 50-651-CON
"Wee Joe" Degnan had heart surgery at Birmingham Children's Hospital. INLT 50-651-CON

The Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke charity is seeking support for a “Jolly Jumper Day” in aid of stroke patients.

Backing the appeal is local woman Jacqui Seymour, whose grandson Joe was born with a serious heart defect.

Jacqui said: “NICHS is a charity close to my heart. My grandson was born with a serious heart defect and needed a number of life-saving operations just after his birth.

His most recent, for a congential heart condition, took place at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Joe, from Ballyvallagh Road in Larne, was referred to the hospital at the end of May for a procedure to correct a congenital heart condition known as double inlet left ventricle.

The condition meant that only one of the pumping chambers, or ventricles, in his heart was working.

“Last year’s NICHS’s Christmas campaign funded research into congenital heart disease”, said Jacqui.

“This year’s campaign is about stroke family support and I think that that’s another cause worth supporting. I hope that lots of people get involved”.

In October, Jacqui took part in a trek up Ben Nevis with colleagues from Larne Skills Development at LEDCOM in aid of NICHS charity.

All you need to do for ‘Jolly Jumper Day’ is to dig out your best (or worst) festive pullover and choose a day for you and your family, friends, students or colleagues to be ‘jolly’ during December.

Each person can donate as little as £2 each to NICHS and you can make a day of it by enjoying festive snacks, playing Christmas music and holding fundraising activities.

Grace O’Neill, NICHS’s community and events manager, said: “This is a fabulous Christmassy event that everyone can get involved in.

“It’s the perfect way to get in the Christmas spirit whilst supporting families affected by stroke this Christmas.

“ If you are inspired to host a ‘Jolly Jumper Day’, get in contact and we will send everything you need to hold this festive fundraising event. “Don’t forget to also send us in pictures; we cannot wait to see your wacky and tacky jumpers.”

Forty per cent of all adult deaths in Northern Ireland are caused by chest, heart or stroke illness.

Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke is a local charity for the care and prevention of chest, heart and stroke illnesses.

To register, or for more information, visit www.nichs.org.uk or call 028 9032 0184.