Each year, about 500 people from the Geelong region require heart surgery and almost 2,500 require non-surgical heart treatment. Of these, around 60-65 per cent are men.
Geelong resident Glenn Keast suffered a cardiac arrest at a football training session on May 30, his 50th birthday. The Cotton On Group executive and St Mary’s Football coach has now signed up as a Barwon Health Foundation Father’s Day Project Ambassador to help raise awareness and funds for local men’s health.
“I have no memory of it, but thankfully my two boys and an off-duty University Hospital Geelong nurse rushed to my aid to assist with resuscitation before I was rushed to Barwon Health’s University Hospital Geelong in a critical condition,” he said.
Barwon Health Foundation executive director Zoe Waters said supporting heart health was an area of concern for the charity.
“As Victoria manages an upturn in COVID-19 cases across the state, the reality is that men will continue to have heart attacks, be diagnosed with cancer and need support with mental health,” she said.
“All three of these are leading causes of mortality and morbidity right here in Greater Geelong.”
In the lead up to Father’s Day, the Barwon Health Foundation is launching the Father’s Day Project, aiming to raise funds for vital men’s health services to support three major health issues facing local men: cancer, cardiovascular disease and mental health.
Glenn is proud to tell his story to support the local health service and to encourage other men to take the time to assess their own health.
“As a father, I was extremely emotional in hospital at times when I thought about my entire family, and especially my children. I lost my dad in a truck accident at 27 years of age, which was traumatic and it was hard not to consider the thought of the impact of me not being around would have on my young family.”
“Fatherhood is extremely important to me. Together with my wife Carolyn, we are very proud of our three children and the young adults they’ve become.”
“I know they supported Carolyn extremely well through my ordeal and I thank them so much for that. Seeing my children grow into adults and realise their dreams and aspirations is massive, and I’m going to do everything I can to be around to support and guide them.”
Glenn hopes his message can help raise funds and also create awareness of heart health.
“I’m honoured to an ambassador for the 2020 Barwon Health Foundation‘s Father’s Day Project to support local men’s health. By sharing my story, I hope to create awareness and if one father gets checked and that saves him from going through a heart issue and it enables them to see their kids grow up, then my purpose is worthwhile.”
To read Glenn's full story click here.
Please donate today to the Barwon Health Foundation’s Father’s Day Project, helping to support the biggest causes or mortality and morbidity of men in our region.
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Local father, Will Ainsworth, discusses mental health with BAY FM in support of the Foundation's Fathers Day Project.
Barwon Health's Professor Steve Moyaln diuscusses netal health issues on BAY FM for the Foundation's Fathers Day Project.