There are 8,000 sudden cardiac arrests outside hospital in Wales every year, and only a 3% survival rate. The Hopley family from Rhydargaeau have been through more than most families can imagine and they have teamed up with bottled water brand Brecon Carreg in aid of a charity close to their hearts; Welsh Hearts.
Rob Hopley, 48 is a married father of two daughters. His daughter Stacie, 17, was born with undiagnosed Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) and had to have surgery for coarctation of the aorta at 11 days old, VSD (hole in the heart) repair at seven weeks old and was on both heart and lung machines.
She has since had to undergo several procedures including surgery as recent as during her GCSE exam year.
While Stacie is constantly monitored by the paediatric team at UHW Cardiff she is likely to need further surgeries as she grows older including the prospect of an aortic valve replacement.
“It was an incredibly scary time for us when Stacie was first diagnosed with the heart conditions and while we’ve learned to take one procedure at a time, we know she’ll always need monitoring. Her condition has certainly improved, and she leads a relatively normal life although she is limited by her physical ability in terms of her endurance with her peers.”
“As a family, we couldn’t be more thankful to the teams we’ve come into contact with and also the numerous charities that have helped us so far. We do know though that undiagnosed heart conditions can go undetected for a long time and so others aren’t always as lucky.”
Rob, an engineering team leader at Brecon Carreg and Stacie, an apprentice IT support administrator are committed to raising as much awareness and money for heart-related charities as possible. Seeing Rob’s passion for the charity, his employer Brecon Carreg has named Welsh Hearts its charity of the year and will fundraise for much-needed defibrillators to be installed within Welsh communities.
Eleri Powell, brand manager, Brecon Carreg said:
“We’re extremely grateful to Rob for bringing this incredible charity to us. Welsh Hearts does great work, but as with all charities, more can always be done if there were extra people and funds available to them. We want to help Rob and Stacie continue their work by fundraising to install new defibrillators and raise the importance of CPR training among communities.
“As a surprise to Rob and his family, we are giving them the honour of selecting the first location for a Brecon Carreg defibrillator.”
Sharon Owen, director, Welsh Hearts said:
“I am so grateful to Rob, his family and Brecon Carreg for selecting Welsh Hearts to fundraise for. We have a tight-knit team here but we always welcome new ideas and events to raise our profile. It’s our mission to see a future where nobody in Wales dies prematurely from heart disease and the statistics just speak for themselves. Defibrillators save lives.”
To follow and support Brecon Carreg’s fundraising journey, please visit www.breconwater.co.uk