The last year has really made us stop and think, and take time to reflect about what is important to us.
The realisation that there is nothing more important than family and cherishing those close to us has been universal.
Garrett Mallon is an award-winning goldsmith and jewellery designer with over 35 years’ experience; creating sculpted, contemporary Irish jewellery using precious metals and traditional skills.
He runs the Garrett Mallon Design House, exhibiting his own work and also pieces from almost 100 Irish artists and craftspeople in his retail gallery.
More importantly, Garrett is a father to three children, and a husband to his wife Sarah.
Sarah and two of their three children live with a genetic heart condition called Long QT Syndrome. Long QT Syndrome is a disturbance of the heart’s electrical system which causes heart rhythm problems.
A person with LQTS is prone to dizziness, fainting spells and even sudden cardiac death.
Whilst it was an unsettling time for the family to receive this diagnosis, up to 50% of people living with LQTS never have any symptoms, so they take solace in the fact that they are aware of the condition.
Once diagnosed, the Mallon’s lives changed considerably; from their children having to stop playing sports, ensuring their schools and colleges were equipped with defibrillators, and training for teachers, family and friends in case of an emergency.
Garrett and his family have received enormous support over the years from the Irish Heart Foundation.
As a father Garrett was compelled to contribute in some small way, so he created the “Irish Heart” Collection.
This is a very personal collection with a percentage of the proceeds from sales going to the Irish Heart Foundation Patient Support Services.
The Irish Heart Foundation have been hugely influential in their lives, with Sarah seeking out advice from their Patient Support Service on numerous occasions; one instance being how to tell her children about their condition, and what words to use so that a child would understand.
Inspired by the help she has received, Sarah now volunteers as the Chair of the Irish Heart Foundation Long QT Patient Support Group, supporting other families who are going through similar situations.
For Garrett, as a father, it is about giving back and raising awareness of the amazing work that the Irish Heart Foundation carries out on a daily basis, helping Irish families deal with experiences such as theirs.
Garrett said: “The Irish Heart Foundation has been a life changing force in our daily lives, providing my family and I with invaluable support.
"I created the Irish Heart collection, where a gold heart is safely cocooned in a silver dome, to reflect their unwavering support and to say thank you.
"I hope this will make people more aware of the work of the Irish Heart Foundation, and trust that the proceeds of the sales from my collection will help others in some way.”
CEO of the Irish Heart Foundation Tim Collins commented: “We are grateful to Garrett for using his talent to create such a beautiful collection, which represents the support he and his family received from the Irish Heart Foundation.
"We encourage people to purchase a piece from the Irish Heart collection as a percentage of sales will go directly to supporting, educating and advocating for the thousands of people who are affected by heart disease and stroke each year.”
To find out more about the Irish Heart Foundation and the supports they offer www.irishheart.ie
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