Lorraine’s Heart Goes Out To Dilkes

February is National Heart Month and Dilkes Primary School, in South Ockendon, will be helping to save lives by supporting the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) Red for Heart campaign.

Pupils at the primary school will wear red to school on the 26th, the charities wear red day and the children will also be making healthy fruit kebabs to sell and raise some money.

The school is raising money to support the BHF’s Red for Heart campaign for National Heart Month this February to help fight the UK’s biggest killer – heart and circulatory disease.

Lorraine Thornett, who works at the school and her sister Yvonne from Grays are the faces of the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) national advertising campaign which launched BHF’s February’s National Heart Month.

On the advert Lorraine speaks about the fear that comes with having a heart attack, describing it as a “death sentence” and the fear that she wouldn’t see her children grow up. “God, how long am I going to live?”

Just after her heart attack she wouldn’t allow the doctors to take her off the machine: she wanted to be able to hear her heart beat as a confirmation that she was alive. Her children – Charlotte and James – were Lorraine’s drive to get better. “Not being with my children was the hardest part for me… my children were nearly going to grow up without me”.

Yvonne was with her sister Lorraine when she had her heart attack. “I had just cooked some breakfast for us – and all of a sudden Lorraine just said ‘oh I feel really tight-chested – I feel sick’”.

Yvonne was at the hospital with her sister and then Lorraine lived with her for nine weeks. Both sisters were frightened it would happen again, but have found support in the BHF.

“They’re [the BHF is] not just there for the people who’ve had the heart
attacks or heart problems. They’re there for us as well”.

Yvonne says her sister and her were always very close but they are even closer now after going through this together.

The BHF is encouraging people who have been affected by heart disease to call for a free Heart Information Pack. This will provide information and the opportunity to sign-up to the free Heart Matters scheme where they will receive regular communication.

Lorraine and Dilkes Primary School are supporting the BHF to help raise awareness and funds for the charity to help its life saving work and support that it gives heart patients like Lorraine.

Jackie Skeel, Head of National Campaigns at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Thanks to Lorraine and Dilkes Primary school for going Red for Heart. The money raised will help save lives and fight the UK’s biggest killer.

“Everyone can get involved with the campaign so please encourage your colleagues or friends to take part and help the BHF make a real difference.”

For more information about the Red for Heart campaign please visit bhf.org.uk/red, call 0845 2410976 or email red@bhf.org.uk

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