Patient Stories

105, 2024

Joanne Woodhead’s Aortic Stenosis Story

1 May 2024|Categories: Aortic Valve, Open Heart Surgery, Patient Stories|

In 2021, Joanne Woodhead began experiencing lightheadedness during exercise. After consulting her GP, she was referred for an echo and found to have severe aortic stenosis, bringing Joanne face-to-face with her fear of hospitals. With the support of her family, friends, heart team, and a clinical psychologist, Joanne was able to conquer her fear and undergo life-saving treatment. This is Joanne’s story. “My symptoms first started to show themselves when I was exercising. I’d been running regularly for a few years before the heart diagnosis. I decided to do the Fit for 50, and after doing boot camps I was always trying [...]

2302, 2024

John Wolfenden’s TAVI Story

23 February 2024|Categories: Aortic Valve, Patient Stories, TAVI|

In 2020, John Wolfenden started to get increasingly breathless when walking, but it wasn't until a family emergency that John sought help with his symptoms. John's GP listened to his heart and heard a murmur, and just months later, John was being treated for aortic stenosis. This is his story. My GP diagnosed a fluttering aortic valve in 2020 after listening to my heart. I went to him as I found I was getting increasingly out of breath, which I thought was a lung problem. I had no idea I had a heart valve issue and had never heard of heart valve disease. [...]

1512, 2023

Brenda Walker – 12 Years On

15 December 2023|Categories: Aortic Valve, Patient Stories, TAVI|

In 2011, Brenda Walker was treated for severe aortic stenosis. Now, at nearly 90 years old, Brenda reflects on all that she has achieved since her life-saving treatment, and her work as an advocate for heart valve disease patents around the world. 12 years ago, we lived in Leicestershire and I was in the middle of studying for a PhD at Loughborough University that I had started in Dec 2009. I was then 75, very active and in good health apart from some asthma. During the spring and early summer of 2011, when I was travelling around giving papers at [...]

2710, 2023

Timothy Powell – 10 Years On (Out of 150)

27 October 2023|Categories: Mitral Valve, Patient Stories|

In 2014, Timothy Powell was treated for mitral valve disease after being diagnosed at a routine health check. As Timothy approaches the 10-year anniversary of his surgery, he reflects on his post-treatment journey. You may be wondering about the title of my article, which is intended to cover my experience in the (nearly) ten years since I underwent mitral valve repair at Papworth Hospital in 2014. It refers to something mentioned by one of the doctors, to the effect that the Gore-tex put into my heart to replace the chordae tendineae (colloquially, the “heart strings”) has a useful life of about [...]

1603, 2023

Stacey’s Heart Valve Disease Story

16 March 2023|Categories: Endocarditis, Mechanical Valve, Patient Stories|

In 2019, at just 33 years old, Stacey Langridge was experiencing severe shortness of breath and swollen ankles. When referred to Weston General Hospital, it was found that she had aortic stenosis, mitral valve disease and endocarditis and needed emergency treatment. Over the next four weeks in hospital she had her valves repaired and replaced and antibiotics to treat her endocarditis. Now, she is making a good recovery, adjusting to life after treatment, and looking forward to the future with her family. This is her story. “My story started in 2019 when I was sent to a heart doctor after [...]

2306, 2022

Patricia Walker’s TAVI Story

23 June 2022|Categories: Aortic Valve, Patient Stories, TAVI|

In 2021, 85-year-old, Patricia, began feeling breathless while out walking, but was hiding the symptoms from her loved ones. Knowing something was up, she went to the doctor and further investigation found she had aortic stenosis. Now, thanks to the brilliant team at Leeds Teaching Hospital, she has a "new life" - and is enjoying every minute of it. This is her story. "I started to realise something was up when I was walking to the shop, and I would need to sit down. I used to pretend to talk on my phone because I didn’t want anyone to think [...]

106, 2022

Morgan’s Aortic Stenosis Story

1 June 2022|Categories: Aortic Valve, Open Heart Surgery, Patient Stories, Tissue Valve|

In January this year, while at an appointment with her GP, 63-year-old Morgan, mentioned she had started becoming breathless and had a sharp pain in her chest while walking up an incline. Recognising these were symptoms of a potential heart condition, her GP listened to her heart and heard a murmur. Just weeks later, Morgan was diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis, requiring an urgent, lifesaving intervention. This is her heart valve disease story: “My story started in January this year when I went to the GP for an unrelated health issue. At the end of the appointment, she asked if [...]

605, 2022

Joe Munro’s Heart Valve Disease Story

6 May 2022|Categories: Aortic Valve, Mechanical Valve, Open Heart Surgery, Patient Stories|

At the beginning of 2021, Fireman, Joe Munro, had just set himself a challenge to run 5 kilometres every day. Then, after feeling unwell at work one day, his GP listened to his heart and heard a murmur. A subsequent echo found he had severe aortic stenosis, and required urgent intervention. Now, just a year later, he is back at work with his watch, fighting fires and saving lives. This is his heart valve disease story: "My heart valve disease story is a bit of a strange one because prior to being diagnosed I was very fit. I did the [...]

1404, 2022

Mary Kernick’s Heart Valve Disease Story

14 April 2022|Categories: Aortic Valve, Patient Stories, TAVI|

This year, to mark the 20th Anniversary of the first TAVI we will be sharing twenty TAVI stories - one for every year the procedure has been being performed. 85-year-old, Mary Kernick, was diagnosed with heart valve disease while having checks for suspected gall stones. After discussions with her clinician, they decided a TAVI was the best treatment option for her. This is her valve disease story. "My story started in November 2019 I was admitted to the General Hospital with suspected infected gall stones, and during the various tests a heart murmur was discovered and it was recommended that I [...]

1503, 2022

Julia’s Aortic Stenosis Story

15 March 2022|Categories: Aortic Valve, Mechanical Valve, Open Heart Surgery, Patient Stories|

In February 2019, Julia was recovering from a viral infection and feeling run down and tired. After her GP listened to her heart with a stethoscope, they discovered she had a significant murmur and a subsequent echo found she had severe aortic stenosis with a bicuspid valve. This is her valve disease story.  "My heart valve disease story started in 2019 when I had a viral infection. After it had passed, I noticed I was left with quite a lot of lethargy and continuous cough. I went to the doctor a few times with it, and on one visit, the [...]

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