Wednesday 10th May 2017

Anwen Jenkins, Cardiac Nurse, Morriston Hospital, Swansea, talks about why it is essential that people are aware of the symptoms of heart valve disease and why she's looking forward to the cycle ride.

I’m really excited to be cycling with the Heart Valve Voice team on the cycle ride from London to EuroPCR in Paris. I’ve been getting lots of time on my bike and feel like I’m ready to go! It isn’t just the cycling that I’m excited about, it’s also the chance for us to spread the message about heart valve disease and increase awareness of the symptoms and treatments available.

Something that is very important to me and the Heart Valve Voice team is educating the public on what the symptoms of heart valve disease are. Sadly many people are diagnosed with advanced or severe valve disease because they had been experiencing symptoms that had been ignored because the patient was unaware of what the symptoms were.

So what are the symptoms of heart valve disease? Well the ones to watch out for are breathlessness - feeling short of breath or finding your normal activities harder to do, fatigue - are you finding yourself more tired than usual and feeling old - many of my patients say that they thought the symptoms they were experiencing were all apart of getting older. What I want people to be aware of is that if you are experiencing any of these symptoms and are over the age of 50, don't brush it off by blaming it on getting older, go have yourself checked out by a clinician.

I really can’t wait to set off on this adventure with Heart Valve Voice and I am really happy to be apart of such a great cause. Now here’s hoping I can keep up with the team, or should I say, that the team can keep up with me!