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Swansea heart heroes celebrated in glittering awards ceremony

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Two inspirational people from Swansea have been nominated in the British Heart Foundation’s Heart Hero Awards 2022.

The annual awards ceremony returns for a fifth year on Thursday 1st December.

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The charity will honour incredible young heart heroes who’ve shown remarkable bravery and gone above and beyond to help others while coping with the devastating impact of heart disease, as well as CPR lifesavers, innovative fundraisers, corporate partners, research champions and healthcare heroes working in the NHS.

Winners will be announced at a glittering ceremony in London, with Vernon Kay hosting for the fourth time. He’ll be joined by celebrity judges including footballing legend David Ginola and Olympic gymnasts Becky and Ellie Downie.

South Wales Police Constable Chris Gillett, 42, based at the Roads Policing Unit, Lakeside Police Station, Swansea, was nominated as a CPR Hero. One of 19 Heart Hero nominees from across Wales, Constable Gillett is being recognised for using cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the course of his duty on a dozen occasions and has saved lives as a result of his actions.

CPR Hero nominee Chris Gillett

After being nominated by Suzanne Morgan, he said: “Suzanne is a colleague and student, who I tutored for their initial couple of months before being signed off as independent for patrol. During this time, and with other students and colleagues, I have been deployed to numerous first aid incidents and taken the lead in administering care and coordinating them to assist with CPR or treatment of casualties.

“I didn’t realise that just going about my daily job would prompt a nomination for a recognition such as this. I’m extremely thankful and honoured that I’m thought of in this way by a colleague. The importance of CPR cannot be stressed enough. In my experience it’s almost always been an afterthought following a trauma or fatality. The bystanders, and more often than not a family member, will say ‘I wish I’d known what to do’.

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“Emergency Life Support and CPR are such an important skill to learn and having the confidence to do something, you can make a difference and literally be the difference for a family never seeing their loved one again or being the person that a family never forget for saving their life.”

Research Engagement Nominee

Professor Chris George is nominated for a Heart Hero Award in the Research Engagement category. The BHF is recognising his work at Swansea University in tailoring treatments for dangerous abnormal heart rhythms which could help reveal new ways to treat people with life-threatening arrhythmias.

Chris is the Chair of the National Cardiovascular Research Network in Wales. He has worked with BHF Cymru to share information about the BHF-funded research taking place in Welsh universities, in an accessible and engaging way, to help the public understand the work which is possible thanks to their donations.

Research Engagement nominee Professor Chris George

Head of BHF Cymru, Rhodri Thomas said: “The Heart Hero Awards are the highlight of our year, bringing together inspirational nominees from different walks of life and from every part of the UK. From fantastic children to remarkable pensioners, they all share such spirit and embody the very best of us.

“I’m proud and humbled that so many nominees are from Wales, and I’m delighted to have met several of them in person to thank them for the amazing support they give the BHF and the motivation they bring to myself and the whole BHF Cymru team.

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“Whilst we celebrate these brilliant Heart Hero nominees, we also thank each of our brilliant BHF supporters who power our lifesaving science and bring new hope to the 7.6 million people across the UK living with conditions such as stroke, heart disease and vascular dementia.

“I’m in no doubt that their dedication and selflessness will mean more lives will be saved from heart and circulatory disease, so thank you and congratulations to all our inspirational nominees”. 

The Heart Heroes Awards will be live-streamed at 8pm on Thursday 1st December. Register to watch the celebration online at: https://www.bhf.org.uk/heartheroes

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