Sunderland Cardiac Support Group began when six heart patients met in a small room in Sunderland Royal Hospital to share their stories. Now, the group enjoys numerous social gatherings, arranges medical and social speakers, meets monthly and organises bus trips, dances and walks.
National Lottery funding has helped to pay for six exercise sessions to be run every week for people over 55 with between 20 to 30 members attending each session. The group is very proud of their success in supporting and encouraging cardiac patients to look forward to a new lease of life. Organiser Barry Cook says: "The group is healthy and thriving, just like us! All thanks to The National Lottery."
Jean Wilson suffered a heart attack out of the blue and was rushed to Sunderland Royal Hospital Cardiology Department and given drugs to clear a blood clot in her heart. That was 17 years ago and Jean will be 91 in June this year. The exercise classes have been a lifesaver for Jean. She attends gentle exercise classes twice a week to build strength and confidence. Jean says: "After my heart attack I had lost my confidence, I was worried 'will it happen again?' But I am still here and doing what I really enjoy, meeting old friends and new members, it gives me a reason to get out of bed and come here."