Heart Day raises $27K for new ambulance

The World Heart Day celebrations at Camana Bay raised $27,000 toward a new ambulance for the Health Services Authority. 

The HSA has five ambulances, but two are more than a decade old and need to be replaced. The HSA hopes to raise $150,000 to buy one new ambulance. So far the Cayman Heart Fund has raised more than $43,000 toward the ambulance. 

At a fundraiser earlier this year, emergency medical services manager Stephen Duval said the two old Ford ambulances are used as backups when one of the newer ambulances – two bought in 2009 and a third in 2014 – undergoes maintenance. 

“We don’t necessarily need two spare vehicles at the same time, and can stagger the costs. Currently the plan is to replace one,” he said. 

Cayman Heart Fund chair David Dinner said in a press release, “We support the provision for well-equipped and modern ambulances and look forward to reaching our goal over the next eight months and hope that the public will continue to support our fundraising efforts.” 

The Cayman Heart Fund joined with the World Heart Federation to host Cayman’s first World Heart Day celebration on Sept. 26. The event at Camana Bay had family activities, educational booths, live music and local art. 

Heart Day organizers pushed a mission of healthy eating and general education about heart health. 

“We had key messages at this event targeted to children, as many health problems in adulthood often stem from choices made during adolescence. Children should be encouraged to engage in physical activity and eat a healthy, balanced diet in hopes that these good habits instilled in childhood will continue into adulthood,” said HSA dietician Simone Sheehan. 

Mr. Dinner said, “Education and prevention are key to reducing the impact and incidence of heart disease in the Cayman Islands and those were our focus for this year’s World Heart Day.” 

Circulatory diseases, including hypertension, stroke and coronary artery disease are the leading cause of death in the Cayman Islands, according to the Economics and Statistics Office. Heart disease is the leading cause of death globally, according to the World Health Organization. 

Dieticians Simone Sheehan, left, and Kristen Lomas work the Health Services Authority booth at the World Heart Day celebration last month.

Dieticians Simone Sheehan, left, and Kristen Lomas work the Health Services Authority booth at the World Heart Day celebration last month.
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