The CRY team saved my life, says Bessbrook man

Chris Brennan


Chris Brennan


Thursday 12 March 2020 14:23

BESSBROOK man Bernard Cumiskey is preparing to walk the Camino this year to thank CRY (Ireland) for saving his life.

On the 26th of July 2018 the Cumiskey family’s world was turned upside down by the sudden death of their eldest son, Jonathon who was only 33 years old. Jonathon died from a heart related condition.

“We contacted CRY and within a short time we were all scheduled an appointment to go and have our hearts screened in their centre in Tallaght, Dublin,” recalls Bernard. “The CRY team put my family through a very thorough and intensive heart screening process, over a few weeks my family had several visits to the CRY centre and from the moment we made the initial phone call to the centre the CRY team could not have done enough for us. They were extremely professional but also showed our family care, empathy and support during a time of tremendous grief and anxiety.” Bernard continued.

.“At our last visit my wife and I received an Angiogram test. To my shock my results were not so good. The CR consultant, Dr David Mulcahy, informed me that I had a severe heart condition and needed to have surgery as soon as possible. I was admitted to Tallaght Hospital there and then and had my surgery 8 days later. The CRY team saved my life; if not for their intensive heart screening I would never have known I had a critical heart condition. I am now 3 months post-surgery and well on the road to full recovery.”Bernard and his family will be forever grateful to CRY, hence his commitment to participate in this year’s CRY Camino walk in September, to raise funds for CRY, and to commemorate his son Jonathan’s short life.“CRY is an amazing organisation and my family cannot thank them enough for all they have done for us and you never know when you might need them.”Bernard will join the CRY (Ireland) team, led by five time All- Ireland GAA champion Aidan O'Mahony in walking the Camino de Santiago on Sept.19th to 26th. The Camino offers an escape, a haven for self-reflection and an opportunity to disconnect.

CRY (Ireland) Chairman, Camlough man Tommy Fegan said, “We’re hoping the trip will be bigger and better this year to raise much needed funds for CRY. Approximately two people under the age of 35 die every week in Ireland from Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD). Conditions that cause SCD cannot be cured, but if diagnosed, the risk of death can be significantly reduced. The best treatment for people at risk is expert assessment and this includes screening.

I was delighted that our team was able to provide a speedy and positive intervention for Bernard. Without the support from the public in previous years, the new screening centre which opened late last year wouldn’t have been possible and we want to continue saving lives and provide an all-Ireland service.”

CRY Ambassador, Aidan O'Mahony said "I was so moved by the Camino walk last year and the stories I heard from those affected by SCD that CRY has helped. CRY is saving young lives with their services and I am so happy to support them as an ambassador. I am asking for people to join me on the Camino this year so we can save more young lives from sudden cardiac death."

The Camino is suitable for almost anyone and is as rewarding as it is challenging, so if you are looking for a new challenge in 2020, test yourself mentally and physically this year and walk the Camino for a great cause.

The Camino Primitivo trek will be spread across 8 days and 7 nights. It will begin in the walled city of Lugo, after two days the trail will join the Camino Frances in Melide, with the final destination being Santiago where you will be able to get the Compostela, the traditional certificate of pilgrimage on completion.

If you would like to join Aidan on the Camino for CRY please call 0 1 4142235, email or see for more information.

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