Help defeat heart disease with new appeal

Joseph Bulmer

British Heart Foundation launches �50 million appeal to repair damaged hearts.

THE numbers of people dying from heart disease in North Devon and Torridge has dropped dramatically since 1994 according to figures released by the British Heart Foundation as it launches a new �50 million appeal.

Between 1994-2008 the mortality rate for heart disease in North Devon fell from 263 to 166 while in Torridge the figure was down from 177 to 125.

But the BHF says while the number of deaths have fallen, the number of those who have survived a heart attack and now live with heart failure has continued to rise since the 1960s.

Today (Friday) the charity unveiled a major new programme of research in regenerative medicine to find a cure - The Mending Broken Hearts project will involve stem cell research and developmental biology to work out how to repair or replace damaged heart muscle to literally mend broken hearts in as little as 10 years.

“Scientifically, mending human hearts is an achievable goal and we really could make recovering from a heart attack as simple as getting over a broken leg. But we need to spend �50 million to make this a reality, and currently the resources and investment we need are simply not available,” said Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director at the BHF.

The charity is calling on people across Devon to support its Mending Broken Hearts Appeal. The five-year fundraising campaign is the charity’s most ambitious to date, and coincides with its 50th anniversary.

To order an appeal pack, call 0300 333 0333 or visit