Martin boosts heart charity in loving memory of friend Paul

A GENEROUS Larne man has presented £1,360 to the Children’s Heartbeat Trust in memory of a friend who passed away at the age of 18 as a result of a congenital heart defect.

Martin Wilson presented the handsome cheque after raising funds through taking part in the 2012 Belfast marathon and organising a bag pack at the Tesco store in Newtownabbey.

Martin’s friend, Paul Meehan was born with a congenital heart defect and sadly passed away in 2003 aged 18.

It was in memory of his friend and with the support of the Meehan family that Martin took on the challenge of raising funds for the charity, which supports children and families affected by congenital heart disease in Northern Ireland.

Sarah Quinlan, executive officer with Children’s Heartbeat Trust said: “We are very thankful to Martin Wilson for raising these essential funds. This will help us continue to provide support for parents and families of children with heart disease in Northern Ireland.

“Over 250 children each year are born with heart disease in Northern Ireland and one third of these children will require further investigation and even surgery. These funds will make a very real difference to the lives of these families and children.”

Children’s Heartbeat Trust works closely with the Clark Clinic at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children to help fund top quality medical equipment and initiatives, ensuring that children with heart disease in Northern Ireland receive the best care and treatment possible.

The charity has launched a campaign to protect children’s heart surgery at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children. Although the current service has been deemed safe, an independent report has stated that due to issues regarding sustainability, children’s heart surgery in Northern Ireland should cease.

Children’s Heartbeat Trust believe that stopping heart surgery in Belfast would be detrimental to the care and safety of over 130 children in the province who require surgical or interventional procedures annually, as well as causing unnecessary emotional trauma and practical difficulties for families who would then have to travel to a centre in England or Scotland to receive treatment.

If you would like to more information about the Children’s Heartbeat Trust and the campaign to save children’s heart surgery please visit, contact 07584 164 815; or email