Heart Heroes Northern Ireland

Our annual Heart Hero Awards recognise and reward supporters, fundraisers, volunteers and partners who have made an exceptional contribution to our fight for every heartbeat.

At a special ceremony in Belfast City Hall in June 2016, we recognised those people who are helping us win the fight against heart disease in Northern Ireland.

Inspiration Award

jackie brogan, winner of a heart hero award

Jackie Brogan

Jackie Brogan is a record-setting fundraiser for BHF’s charity partnership with Diabetes UK and Tesco. A colleague in the supermarket’s Ballymoney store, Jackie’s charity discos, craft fairs and in store fancy dresses have made the small North Antrim town the second highest fundraising store across NI and sixth in the UK. Jackie is a fundraising champion who knows everyone in her town and never stops giving up her time to help others.

Influencing Award

karen rennie, winner of a heart hero award

Karen Rennie

Mum of four Karen Rennie lives with two heart conditions, multiple sclerosis and three of her four young daughters also have heart conditions. Despite a hectic family life Karen was the public face of a campaign against the return of prescription charges for those with long term conditions. TV work, appearing in a campaign report and speaking with passion to Stormont politicians, no task was too great for Karen whose brave sharing of her story led to a campaign win and scrapping of plans to bring back charges.

Innovation Award

hilary and denise, winners of a heart hero award

Hilary Clarke and Denise Duggan

Active Hearts is a project pioneered by nurses Denise Duggan and Hilary Clarke aimed at improving the quality of life for patients with heart failure in Mid-Ulster.  The innovative intervention involves bringing together cardiac rehabilitation staff, specialist physiotherapists and heart failure nurses to provide a structured exercise-based programme for heart failure patients who had never before been to cardiac rehabilitation.

Young Heart Hero Awards

kendal filcroft, winner of a heart hero award

Kendal Flitcroft

Kendal Flitcroft was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and only one ear. The little Bangor girl is just one year old and has had two open heart surgeries and three cardiac arrests. She was in hospital until she was nine months old and was so poorly that the doctors and nurses told her family there was no hope.  But she defied the doctors over and over and continues to battle every single day.

Shealyn Caulfield

Shealyn Caulfield was born prematurely and with a heart condition. The 17 year old is currently living with heart failure. Together with her mother Clare she set up Bravehearts NI a local charity which helps teenagers and young adults who are transferred to adult wards quite often without their parents for long periods of time which, for some, can be a difficult transition.

Fighting Spirit Awards

declan mcmullan, winner of a heart hero award

Xenia Banega

Shortly after Xenia Banega’s daughter Fey was born prematurely in their home country Panama doctors discovered Fey had hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Now aged 9 Fey has had four heart operations and Xenia also cares for her two other children, Miles who has cerebral palsy and Britney. Xenia is one of the Belfast store’s most dedicated volunteers. Xenia says she wants to give something back to the doctors and scientists who saved Fey.

Declan McMullan

When he was only 19 years old Declan McMullan suffered a sudden cardiac arrest at home, which has left him severely disabled, paralysed and suffering from locked-in syndrome. Declan and his family have constantly fought to raise awareness and much needed funds to help others. He has inspired and touched so many hearts online through a fund set up in his name.