Young Heart Hero - all winners
Dáithí Mac Gabhann
Mini-marvel Dáithí has transformed the toughest possible circumstances into a life-saving message of hope.
Born with a life-threatening heart condition, Dáithí MacGabhann endured two open heart surgeries within his first six days. Thankfully, Dáithí came through and now the three-year-old is awaiting a heart transplant. But he’s also the (irresistible) face of Belfast’s organ donation campaign – helping open a new
BHF shop and launch a new organ donation policy. Not bad work for such a wee lad.
After losing her dad at an early age, Evie was determined to support research that might help other families.
Evie Gaskill was just seven when she lost her devoted dad to cardiac arrest, Cruelly, it happened on Father’s Day and he was just 53.
Determined to both honour his memory and fund life-saving research, she set up the Mark Gaskell Fundraising Group. With the support of her mum, family
and friends, Evie has already raised almost £20,000 for BHF.
A life-changing diagnosis meant Anna had to give up her beloved sports – and yet she’s more active than ever.
Anna Hadley’s world fell apart two years ago when she was diagnosed with two rare, life-changing heart conditions. The talented hockey player had to give up sports entirely and join the list for a life-saving heart transplant. But the determined teen instead threw herself into raising thousands for BHF research – via collections, walks and even a four-day ride on her special electric bike.
Inspiration - Joint winners Carl and Hayley
After being told he couldn’t play sports anymore, Carl focused his huge energies on helping others.
Cricket, football, half-marathons: Carl Portman was sports mad. But all that changed when, aged just 29, he was diagnosed with a degenerative heart condition. Still, you can’t keep a positive man down.
Since being fitted with an internal defibrillator (ICD), he has been busier than ever – setting up charity events, speaking to medical conferences and even addressing an ICD manufacturer in Europe. There is no stopping him.
Hayley Jane Martin
Hayley Jane has shown tremendous courage and is an inspiration to other heart patients. Ten years ago, aged just 39, Hayley Jane Martin suffered a rare form of heart attack called a SCAD.
She suffered permanent heart damage and severe post-traumatic stress – which only makes her actions since all the more amazing. Namely: six marathons, 30 half-marathons, awareness-raising television and radio appearances, plus support for BHF patient advisory groups. She has even contributed to a hospital-based arts project focused on living with heart disease.
My Healthcare Hero – Dr Ramana Dhannapuneni
Meet the ‘superhero’ surgeon who has dedicated his life to saving babies and children. Mr Ramana Dhannapuneni (or “Ram the Man” as he is affectionately known) is a Consultant Cardiac Surgeon at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.
Dubbed ‘a real-life superhero in scrubs’ by parents, Ram also volunteers as a lead surgeon for the Healing Little Hearts charity – and frequently travels to perform life-saving surgery in countries without public healthcare. Oh, and he’s raised over £60,000 for the BHF and other charities in the past year.