Waterford and Wexford’s star hurlers weren’t the only people who were asked to pose for photos as Tina Schley was inundated with photo requests thanks to her eye catching outfit.
Tina, who is Tramore and Fenor notes correspondent with The Munster Express and a passionate advocate of the need for 24/7 cardiac cover at University Hospital Waterford (UHW), donned a homemade heart shaped outfit in order to highlight the pressing issue.
The outfit was the brainchild of her brother Ken and sister Tracey who asked Tina (a huge hurling fan and a regular at all of Waterford’s games) if she would wear such a piece of clothing during the Déise’s All-Ireland Quarter-Final clash with Wexford.
“They were trying to think of a way in which we could make an impact at the match in order to highlight the cardiac issue so they asked if I would wear a heart,” explained Tina.
In making the outfit, her siblings received help from ‘You Choose’ in Waterford who did the printing while material was donated by Patsy from Kilmacow who works in a local business.
Never one to shy away from a challenge, Tina took to the plan with gusto and donned her outfit on Sunday on what was a very warm July day.
Although she admits she was nervous about wearing the outfit at first, Tina said she was completely “blown away” by the level of support she received in and around Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
“Wexford people were so supportive and all the Waterford people were unbelievable,” she said.
“Even the Gardaí and the stewards posed for photos and told me to make sure I stood where I could be seen by as many people as possible.”
Tina also handed out flyers which read ‘I AM TOM’, in memory of the late Tom Power who tragically died in Dungarvan while en route from UHW to Cork in June.
She said she couldn’t believe the huge response to the issue and the amount of people who stopped to talk.
“I had between 500 and 600 flyers which were all gone within half an hour,” she explained.
It’s a personal issue for her family also, as their mother Helen Hutchinson from Fenor has a heart condition and suffered a number of heart attacks in the past.
She is currently waiting for a second operation.
“It’s a worry when you think about something happening to her at the weekend or out of hours and having to make the journey to Cork,” said Tina.
She highlighted the lengthy delays while en route to Cork last Sunday, particularly at Killeagh, Castlemartyr and Midleton, and queried what would have happened if an ambulance was trying to travel from Waterford to Cork within the timeframe of ninety minutes.
Her next port of call is Croke Park on Sunday August 13th when the Deise’s hurlers will take on Cork.
“They’re all getting onto me now about going to Croke Park so it looks like the heart will be coming out of the wardrobe for another trip!” said Tina.
She says the fact that so many people supported the venture shows the huge level of support for this issue.
“It’s incredible to think that lives have been lost but things still haven’t changed,” she said.