Life after Heart Valve Disease Treatment
Heart Valve Voice, the UK’s dedicated heart valve disease charity works to raise awareness of heart valve disease, its symptoms and the need for access to treatment for patients across the country.
We work with patients who have valve disease and those who have been through the life saving treatment to provide support and to share their stories to help others.
Our patients who have shared their stories often tell us that their quality of life after receiving treatment for their valve disease is significantly improved. Prior to treatment, patients can experience a variety of symptoms such as breathlessness, tiredness, chest pains or feeling older than their age. The common misconception with valve disease is that these symptoms are simply a result of getting older and they are something that patients think they should just put up with. However, most patients who have received treatment for their valve disease claim that they can’t believe how much better they feel, their energy levels are better and they no longer experience the symptoms.
In addition to sharing their valve disease treatment stories, our patients provide us with updates as to how their lives are going on a day to day basis. They continue to surprise themselves with what they can accomplish and how far they’ve come since the days where they could barely walk up their stairs! Here are some examples of things our patients are getting up to since their treatment:
Pat is one of our patient ambassadors and a member of the Heart Valve Voice Patient Action Group (PAG). Since her surgery, Pat has found a renewed love of being active and keeps herself busy walking, riding horses and taking fitness classes, in addition to caring for her mother full-time. Most recently, Pat helped to plan and attend her son’s wedding in Cyprus, something she would not have been able to do before her surgery. Pat was a big part of the day helping to make sure things ran smoothly for everyone and her family were so happy to have her there, “It’s crazy to think that there could have been a chance that she wouldn’t have been here, but I am so grateful that she is and that her valve surgery has made it possible.” said her son, Emil Khan.
Sue is also a member of our PAG group and a patient ambassador. Sue received her new valve in 2013 and since then she has been keeping herself active by playing golf, taking care of her garden and spending time with her grandchildren. Prior to her treatment, Sue was finding it a struggle to go for walks with her husband, but now she can do so much more, even help her daughter with a big move. Her daughter recently moved house and Sue and her husband stepped in to help. At first her family worried that Sue might not be able to keep up, but she surprised everyone when she outlasted the both of them carrying boxes and going up and down the stairs. “My mum was incredible! My stepdad and I could barely keep up with her,” said Sue’s daughter.
Norman’s story is truly inspirational, at the age of 92 he received his valve replacement surgery earlier this year. Before he was treated, Norman was struggling with his every day tasks like climbing his stairs, after his treatment he was quickly back to the things he loved, like his daily walks, working in his garden and he has even been leading groups on historical tours through his local church. One of his biggest accomplishments since his treatment has been the completion of his book which has been in the works for the past 5 years. Due to his poor health, Norman didn’t think he would be able to complete the book, a compilation of essays about the colourful history that surrounds his village of Whalley, the church and the local parish. Now thanks to his treatment he has seen his goal accomplished. Norman plans to continue with his writing and is really enjoying leading the tours.
A diagnosis with heart valve disease doesn’t have to mean the end of the life you once knew. With the right treatment at the right time, patients with valve disease can get back to their lives and get back to an improved quality of life.
To read more about our patients and their stories please visit the Heart Valve Voice website: www.heartvalvevoice.com
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