Minister reveals baby son had heart condition

Rugby Club Defib

Jonathan Balfour, Enniskillen Rugby Club with Frank Flynn, HeartSine, and Arlene Foster, MLA for Fermanagh and South Tyrone.

THE Minister for Enterprise, Arlene Foster revealed this week that her son had received heart surgery as a baby.

She was welcoming the donation of a heart defibrillator to Enniskillen Rugby Club, and said she appreciated the importance of every avenue being explored to take preventative action should an emergency situation occur.


The Minister said: “My own son received heart surgery as a baby so I appreciate how important it is to ensure evey avenue is explored to take preventative action should an emergency situation occur.

“I hope that this donation will encourage other sports clubs, schools and community groups to find out more about defibrillators and show how they can potentially save lives,” she added.

A spokesman for the Belfast manufacturers, HeartSine Technologies, who were donating the defibrillator, said sudden cardiac arrest affects young and physically active people as well as those who are elderly or inactive.

“As HeartSine have local links with communities across NI, we are keen to donate and distribute their AEDs to public places, making them more accessible to those in need.

The HeartSine samaritan® PAD defibrillator will be installed at the club’s premises at Mullaghmeen.

A spokesman for the manufacturers said it would enable greater public access to vital, lifesaving equipment in cases of sudden cardiac arrest.

“These can strike anyone regardless of age or lifestyle, and with 84% of sudden cardiac arrests occurring away from a healthcare setting, it is hugely important that we increase public access to lifesaving equipment such as these AEDs.”


The chief executive officer of HeartSine Technologies, Declan O’Mahoney said there was a common misconception that a sudden cardiac arrest only affects the elderly or those who are physically inactive.

“Reports over the years increasingly show that a number of young sporting personalities who are at the peak of their physical fitness have been affected, and recent research has indicated that with cardiopulmonary resuscitation alone, the chance of survival after suffering a sudden cardiac arrest is less than 5%.

“However, when combined with the use of a defibrillator, such as that donated to the rugby club, the survival rate can increase to over 75%.”

Mrs Foster said she was proud that the company had chosen to support our local area with this generous donation.

Jonathan Balfour, of Enniskillen Rugby Football Club, said the club was extremely grateful to HeartSine Technologies for this generous donation.

For more information about placing a HeartSine defibrillator in your community, visit

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