A Clogher teenager has been sharing his experiences of growing up with a heart condition at the launch of a new mobile phone app.
Fifteen-year-old Eoin Bogue, from Ashfield Road, was a special guest at the event which took place at Belfast’s MAC centre.
The app for teenagers who suffer from congenital heart disease is believed to be a world first.
It is aimed at those who are transferring from paediatric to adult care to help them to understand their own health needs.
By using the app, young patients can manage their medication, find out more about their condition and keep in contact with their doctors and medical team.
The app was funded by the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and developed by the Children’s Heartbeat Trust.
Eoin’s mum Roisin said that although her son is “generally very good” about taking his medication, this app will help with its management and give him more independence.
She noted that it will also introduce him to specialists in the cardiac field.
“The app is a great way of communicating. It is a great concept,” she said.
Eoin was born with double outlet right ventricle and pulmonary stenosis. This means his pulmonary artery and his aorta, the heart’s two great arteries, arise from the right ventricle. He also suffers from a transposition of the great arteries as his pulmonary artery and aorta are not in the right place.
Speaking at the launch, Eoin said: “Growing up with a heart condition was not easy but I always believed that there were people with much worse illnesses.
“Thinking back, my first realisation that I was probably a bit different from other children was when I started primary school. I found that I had difficulty keeping up with my classmates. I was breathless in the playground. My concentration was poor and therefore I was not good at any physical activity. Being the nature of children I was quite often forgotten about. I also had a hard time concentrating in class as I suffered from tiredness.
“The thing I hate most about my heart condition is having to take medication,” he added.
“The development of the information app is just great. It will allow us teenagers to access information about the service at any time as it will be on our phones.”