I am a father of three, two boys and a girl, and at time of writing I am a grandfather to 7 with another on the way.

I got involved with Heartbeat some 30 years ago when my daughter Laura contracted Kawasaki Syndrome and needed a coronary artery bypass. It was through this that I met Clare, the founder of BraveheartsNI. I distinctly remember speaking to her the first time, since then she has been talking to me and I haven’t got a word in edgeways!

At a meeting with Clare, my wife Carol, Jan Gordon the cardiac liaison nurse and myself we discussed the need for a teenager & young adult group as there was nothing in place for when they outgrew Heartbeat.  As the old saying goes, from small acorns grow mighty oaks and thanks to a wonderful hardworking bunch of volunteers, BraveheartsNI has established itself as a caring and proactive charity leading the way in the care of teenagers & young adults with congenital and acquired heart disease.

Irwyn McKibbin
Trustee & Chairperson HeartbeatNI