About Us

Heart Children is the national organisation providing support to people born with Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) and their families. We work to help people with CHD of all ages to stay well, live confidently and enjoy life to its fullest.

A diagnosis of congenital heart disease, whether received pre-natally, or at birth, presents parents with a different set of life challenges than those they initially expected. The news can be traumatic and it can be hard to understand how and why this has happened.

Heart Children is here to support you as you come to terms with the diagnosis.

The acute medical care of people with CHD happens in hospital. But the extended care of the child post-surgery; of the parents and family unit and of the adult person with CHD, requires different levels of emotional and psychological support and community building. We respond to need in shaping a range of professional support services that help parents and people with CHD to remain strong and resilient.

Heart Children welcomes you to our CHD community and works to support you and your family’s  health and well-being.

Heart Children works closely with the Children’s Heart Centre, CHI Crumlin, the Adult CHD Unit, Mater Hospital, Dublin and the Consultant Paediatricians with Expertise in Cardiology (PECs) working from Cork University Hospital, University Hospital Limerick and Galway University Hospital.

We’re with you through your journey.

Our Team

Our Mission and Vision

To support people with congenital heart disease to live confidently, stay well and enjoy life to its fullest.

To create a society where all those with CHD are empowered so that they can live more confident and independent lives.

Governance & Policies

Heart Children Ireland is a registered charity (CHY No: 10028) which fully subscribes to the Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising (ICTR) and operates in full compliance with the Charities Governance Code. The Board monitors compliance on an ongoing basis under the control of the Finance, Audit & Risk (FAR) committee.

Board Members

Heart Children is governed by a committed board of parents, people with CHD and other health and business professionals who provide their time on a voluntary basis to guide and advise our organisation.

Mike Foley, Chairman & Treasurer

Mike was re-appointed to the board in 2019. Now in retirement following a career as an accountant, Mike is from Limerick, and the parent of a child with CHD. He has been involved with Heart Children for over 20 years.

Lisa McAlister

Lisa was appointed to the board in 2022. She is a Human Resources Manager with over 20 years HR and people management experience in multinational and Irish organisations.  Lisa has considerable knowledge of board governance, compliance and operational issues and is a parent to a child with CHD.

John McGuckian

John was appointed to the board in August 2020. He is a chartered accountant and has spent over twelve years working for KPMG in London and Dublin, specialising in delivering audit and accounting advisory services to the financial services sector. John is a sibling of a sister with CHD, who is now sadly deceased.

Denis O’Connor

Denis was appointed to the board in 2022. He was born with CHD. He ran a family stockbroking business for 25 years and now offers his considerable experience of governance issues and business expertise to
Heart Children.

Dr. Rachel Power

Rachel was appointed to the Board in 2022. She is a Consultant Paediatrician  with Expertise in Cardiology (‘PEC’), at the University of Limerick Hospital, serving patients and families in the Mid-West.

Rhona Savage

Rhona was appointed to the board in 2022. She is the Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) in the Mater Hospital’s Acute Cardiology Unit. She provides a nurse-centred service to adults with CHD who require life-long cardiac care.

Michael Teehan, Secretary

Michael was appointed to the board in 2019. He was born with CHD and his mother was a former chairperson of the organisation. Following many surgeries, he feels he brings a unique perspective to the board as a former Heart Child and now an adult living with CHD.

Veronica Yeomans

Veronica was appointed to the board in 2022. She runs a busy montessori school in Killester, Dublin. Her son, Richard, who had CHD, sadly passed away from the condition in 2013.