Supporting Local News

Business couple leaves Croí charity ‘transformative’ donation in will

A very substantial legacy, gifted by a philanthropic Tuam couple to Croí, is set to transform its work in the area of stroke prevention and post-hospital community support for those recovering from a stroke.

The legacy gift to the heart & stroke charity from the Joe & Helen O’Toole Charitable Trust of over €3m – made in memory of well-known Tuam business couple, the late Joe and Helen O’Toole – will fund what the charity has described as ‘transformational community projects’ aimed at preventing stroke and supporting stroke survivors.

Announcing details of how the legacy gift will be used, Croí CEO Neil Johnson outlined two separate but interconnected components to a major initiative which will literally save lives and greatly improve the quality of life for many stroke survivors and their families.

The money will be used to purchase and custom design of two mobile health units which will be used for early detection of stroke and cardiac risk in the community, but which can also be used as mobile community education and awareness centres as required.

The two units, an articulated truck and a large Mercedes van will be custom built and equipped to travel throughout the west of Ireland and indeed nationally. In addition to the vehicles the legacy fund will also help support staffing and running costs.

It will also help fund the construction of a new dedicated stroke building which will be connected by a link corridor to the main Croí Heart & Stroke Centre in Newcastle, Galway.

This new custom-built facility will be used to provide a stroke recovery day program for those recovering from stroke. The legacy fund will also support the appointment of specialist staff to develop and deliver this much needed service.

Additionally, the legacy will fund the purchase and custom design of a minibus to transport stroke survivors and their carer’s to and from the new Croí Stroke Hub. Full planning permission for this new development has already been granted and the construction of this new facility is expected to commence before Christmas this year.

Speaking at the launch of the first component of this legacy gift – a new Minibus – outgoing Croí CEO Neil Johnson spoke of what he called ‘this unbelievably generous and unexpected gift’.

“It is a once-in-a-lifetime transformational donation which will allow Croí undertake lifesaving work in the community,” he said.

“This mobile health infrastructure will bring Croí to every corner of the west of Ireland, providing free assessment and early detection of stroke and cardiac risk which we know will save lives.

“The new Croí Stroke Hub will provide a much-needed community day program to support stroke survivors and their carer’s – currently no such facility exists in the west of Ireland. This building will be a living legacy to the memory and kindness of Joe and Helen O’Toole”.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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