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  • Southside

‘My boys helped save my life’

Friday, 11th March, 2016 8:00am

Story by Neil Fetherstonhaugh
‘My boys helped save my life’

The Burke brothers John (left) and David (right) with their mother Nora at her Goatstown home. PHOTO: DARREN KINSELLA

‘My boys helped save my life’

The Burke brothers John (left) and David (right) with their mother Nora at her Goatstown home. PHOTO: DARREN KINSELLA

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A SOUTHSIDE mum has praised her two sons who helped save her life after she collapsed with a stroke.

One week before her 84th birthday, Nora Burke was alone in her house, on the couch watching some TV.

Having always enjoyed excellent health all her life, she was taken aback when she suddenly felt unwell.

Before she knew it, she was on the floor with her head beside the radiator and little or no feeling in her body. 

Nora was always very sharp and, although she could hardly move, her mind was still active and alarmed. She realised she was having a stroke, but she also knew that her sons and daughter were not due to see her until the following evening at the earliest.

She could not call out or reach the phone and she had nothing within reach but the TV remote control.

However, by using all the ingenuity she could muster, she managed to increase the volume of the TV to its maximum and prayed for help.

Even so, it wasn’t until 9am the next day when a neighbour, hearing the television blaring away loudly, realised something was wrong and called an ambulance.  Nora had been alone and helpless for over 14 hours and was lucky to be alive.

Despite her ordeal, Nora made an exceptional recovery, far better than her doctors expected, and she attributes this to the health regimen her two sons had put her on. Ten years ago, David and John Burke had started a health company and concentrated their research into preventing incidents like this from happening.

“We had always been involved in health supplements but this concentrated our minds as you could well imagine,” said John. “What surprised us most was that, with the technology available today, how preventable a stroke can be.”

Both brothers set up the ECI Natural Health Centre in Goatstown, where they introduced a comprehensive heart and stroke screening service that was developed for the NHS in the United Kingdom.

“Hypertension is the real danger,” explained David. “In 2010 almost 75 per cent of adults aged 65 or over in Ireland had hypertension, which is one of the biggest factors in heart and stroke incidents.

“The screening takes 25 minutes and you get your results straight away. They measure your heart rate, your blood pressure in its many forms and the elasticity of your arteries, something that could not be done previously without invasive surgery.”

David and John made sure their mother got this full heart and stroke screening programme and they now help her monitor her health on a regular basis.

They asked Orla McLaughlin, their nutrition consultant, to devise a nutritional plan for Nora and she was able to advise her on how to keep her diet healthy and varied and recommended some of the supplements that David and John had researched over the years.

Today, Nora is in great spirits.

“The supplements have really given me a new lease of life,” she said. “My mobility is better and I have my independence. I still drive my car.

“Thanks to the screening that David and John arranged for me, I now have the peace of mind that goes with that. Those boys have helped save my life and I don’t mind saying that

Nora Burke who is fighting fit today after having a stroke. PHOTOS: DARREN KINSELLA Brothers John and David Burke

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