Heart and Stroke Foundation unveils mascot ‘Arter’ as National Heart Month gets underway


He’s seven feet tall, bright red and on a mission to improve lifestyle habits across Antigua and Barbuda.

Meet ‘Arter’ – the brand new mascot unveiled by the Heart and Stroke Foundation to mark February’s National Heart Month.

The non-profit body – which celebrates its third anniversary this week – hopes the eye-catching sponge character will help hammer home the importance of diet and exercise in staving off heart disease, the world’s number one killer.

Arter – short for ‘artery’ – has a special backstory to help raise local awareness of the steps we can all take to avoid high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes.

“Arter is a 16-year-old boy who lives with his mother and grandmother and has embarked on this journey of becoming a young health guru because of what he has experienced in life,” Foundation member Dr Monica Osborne-Stevens explains.

“He recognised from an early age that his mother and grandmother were taking pills every day, and when he asked about it he was told they had high blood pressure and diabetes.

“He would see sometimes they would get sick, sometimes they were just not feeling well because their blood sugar was elevated. One day he comes home from school to see an ambulance outside his home. He is told his grandmother has suffered a stroke.”

While Arter might have an upbeat appearance, he has a very serious message, Dr Osborne-Stevens, of MOS Medical Services in Old Parham Road, explains.

Arter’s grandmother – in the fictional story of the mascot’s creation – recovered but the shock of almost losing her galvanised Arter into action.

“He started Googling and YouTubing and learning all about diabetes and high blood pressure and how to prevent them so he could educate others,” Dr Osborne-Stevens smiles.

A healthy, balanced diet high in fruit and veg and low in starch is key, she says, along with 30 minutes of exercise a day five days a week.

The mascot was designed by local artist and Daily Observer cartoonist Shane Daniel who says it took him two nights to draw Arter.

“I researched online and came up with my own original design,” Daniel says. “It feels great to know I was able to come up with a character design to contribute to something like this.”

Arter was then crafted into his larger than life physical persona by local costume builder Glenroy ‘Zeno’ Richardson.

For Richardson – who is more used to creating Carnival costumes with the Rockers mas’ troupe – it was something of a departure from his usual work.

He says it took several weeks for Arter to come together. In addition to sponge, Richardson used supporting wire and a red suede finish as his main materials.

He says it was a privilege to be tasked with the important job that could ultimately save lives.

“Doing it I was like, wow, I’ve got to make this right, but now seeing it finished I am feeling good,” he adds.

The non-profit Heart and Stroke Foundation was established in February 2020 to act as a voice and support system for patients and their families, raise funds, stage events, and carry out medical research.

Cardiovascular diseases – such as heart disease and stroke – remain the leading cause of death worldwide, claiming almost 18 million lives each year.

Visit www.heartandstrokeag.org for more information.


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  1. If professional athletes are dropping dead on the field in record numbers, what hope do we mere mortals have of becoming “healthy” enough to avoid heart attack, stroke and the newest thing…myocarditis? I am all for healthy habits, but please tell people the real reason people are suddenly dropping dead…and i don’t mean eggs and getting up too quickly. It’s the poison they forced on you for a disease you probably would have survived anyway…never forget.

  2. @Tell the Truth, big up. Over one thousand athletes dropped dead in 2022. The normal tally was between 5 to 7, annually. These criminals will never admit that the world was duped into taking an untested, unproven bioweapon. Pfizer made 31.5 billion from these poisons. Our local doctors, many of whom are allegedly on the take, were on the radio spurting lies, telling the public about extra layer of protection, that we are doomed if we don’t take the poison, that the natural immunity was not enough.Where are they today? People will indeed sell their souls for filthy lucre.

  3. – The EU president ordered enough shots to give everybody in the EU 10. This was way before they were even talking about boosters. They knew it didn’t work from the beginning.
    – Last year, Pfizer admitted before the EU parliament that they NEVER tested it for preventing transmission. Consider, the emergency use approval was granted by the US FDA “for the prevention of COVID-19”. Where are all you, “you don’t understand how vaccines work” specialists now?

  4. They claimed natural immunity was not sufficient (but it was for me). Even if that were so, how is mixing a piece of the virus with known toxins such as aluminum (think Alzheimer’s, autism) going to provide superior protection?

  5. Great awareness heart&stroke. Nevamind all these sardonic comments in this blog.
    NGOs need to show more of this type of creativity.

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