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03 March 2016

‘Up the Pace’ event aims to help young heart patients

Young patients with pacemakers and implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICD) are being invited to attend a unique education event in Bristol this Saturday, 5 March.

'Up the Pace' is organised by staff from the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children's Cardiology Team and funded by The Grand Appeal, the Bristol Children's Hospital Charity. The event aims to help young patients and their families understand more about life with a pacemaker or ICD.

Now in its sixth year, 'Up the Pace' is the only event of its kind in the UK. The day includes exhibitions, talks and practical workshops for younger and older children, and their siblings and parents.

The sessions will be led by cardiac physiologists, cardiology doctors, and specialist cardiac nurses who will provide lots of valuable information, and encourage attendees to share their experiences of living with a pacemaker or an ICD.

Stella Stuart, paediatric cardiac physiologist at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, said: "Around 20 children a year have pacemakers or ICDs fitted in Bristol, so this event is really important in helping them and their families to manage their conditions, and helping develop mutual support.

"Our team hope that everyone attending the event will go home feeling as though they have gained something; be it useful information, an enjoyable experience or a new friendship.

"We are delighted to be hosting this event at the At-Bristol Science Centre, where patients and their families will also get to explore the exhibits on show free of charge. We are also thankful to The Grand Appeal, which has provided the funding for us to put on this event."