JT Inspires - A new charity for Congenital Heart Problems

20/11/2013

A new charity that aims to improve the lives of young people with congenital heart problems– JT INSPIRES has been launched at RBHSC

A new charity that aims to improve the lives of young people with congenital heart problems– JT INSPIRES - that aims to improve the lives of young people with congenital heart problems was launched this week at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.

Dr. Frank Casey and Dr. Christopher Lockhart alongside Michael O’Neill manager of Northern Ireland today launched the charity, a charity set up to support research into the impact of exercise of young people with congenital heart disease. Jonathan’s friends and family also attended the launch in the Children’s Hospital.

JT Inspires

JT inspire was set up in the wake of the death of Jonathan Tate who was born with a congenital heart disease. Sadly following transplant surgery at 22, Jonathan died, but he lived his short life to the full, discovering that despite his condition he could enjoy the benefits of exercise. Remarkably, he went on to develop a career as a personal trainer, inspiring others and contributing to new research in this field.

The charity JT Inspires aims to carry forward Jonathan’s legacy by supporting the very valuable research being undertaken by academics and clinicians at Queens University and the Royal Victoria Hospital. The research is trialling a programme to ascertain if motivational techniques and a structured exercise programme could increase beneficial activity in adolescents with congenital heart disease.

Consultant adult congenital cardiologist Christopher Lockhart said: “Previous research from the paediatric cardiology department here in Belfast has shown that exercise training can be safe, feasible and beneficial in adolescents with congenital heart disease. Further work is needed to develop knowledge and improve experiences for such young people. We are grateful to JT Inspires in their aims to support efforts in this area. It is important that we work towards the development of health, wellbeing and fitness initiatives to assist children, and young adults with congenital heart disease to improve their quality of life.”

Speaking at the launch Jonathan’s father, Alan Tate said: “Jonathan was one of the 180 children born each year in Northern Ireland with congenital heart disease and so we understand the challenges that face many parents and families. We are aware of the very real benefits our son experienced from participation in exercise and the value it added to his all too short life. We feel privileged to be able to contribute to the research in this area and to be allowed through this to pay tribute to our son in this way.”