The wife of an Isle of Wight heart patient is spreading awareness of Wessex Heartbeat’s Heartbeat House – calling it a “saviour” for island cardiac families who need treatment on the mainland.

The charity’s ‘home from home’ supported Rosie Parkes from Ryde, after her husband Richard was rushed across the Solent to receive life-saving heart treatment at Southampton Hospital. The 25-bedroom home is positioned just three minutes away from the hospital, offers families a quiet place to stay while their loved one is undergoing treatment.

Heartbeat House, which is currently undergoing an £80,000 refurbishment, offers rooms for a single charge of £25, with residents allowed to stay for as long as they need. The home offers communal areas for relaxing, socialising and cooking and gives families the chance to give and receive emotional support in what is often an extremely difficult time.

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Rosie, who has shared her story in a bid to help other islanders, said:

“Heartbeat House was my saviour in a time of turmoil.

“Richard was admitted to hospital for two weeks for open heart surgery to repair and replace two of his heart valves. Factoring in the distance apart – and the cost of the daily ferries – I was in a high state of anxiety.

“When I was offered a room at Heartbeat House a weight was immediately lifted off my shoulders and was a true lifeline in our time of need. I could be close to Richard every day in a comfortable and homely environment, without the need to travel.”

John Munro, chief executive of Wessex Heartbeat, said:

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“Our upmost priority is to ensure that heart patients and their families are treated with the best possible care and support, and Heartbeat House is something we’re very proud of. To be able to offer relatives, like Rosie, a home close to their loved ones is very important to us.”

“The running costs for Heartbeat House currently stands at around £87,000 a year. Without the donations from our incredible supporters, we would not be able to provide this vital resource to the community.”

All bookings are managed through the Wessex Cardiac Centre. For more information about Heartbeat House, or to find out how you can donate towards it, please visit www.heartbeat.co.uk.

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