Patient Portraits: A New You

At Heart Valve Voice our patients are the reason we exist.

Our work is very patient focused and includes raising awareness for heart valve disease and lobbying for more timely diagnosis and improved access to treatment. We acknowledge the importance of the patient voice and are determined that the needs of our patients with valve disease are heard across the country and where it matters most.

As part of our mission to spread the word about valve disease we also want to make sure that everyone knows that with timely treatment, most of those with the disease can get back to a good quality, and in many cases a better quality, of life despite their age. There are many advancements being made in the field of valve disease that allow for patients of advanced age and those who may also have co-morbidities to be treated using minimally invasive techniques. These techniques mean that there is usually a quick recovery and less discomfort. More treatment options mean a wider range of patients could see a return to their quality of life, and as such, continue to experience the special moments life has in store for them.

In order to draw attention to the benefits of valve disease treatment, Heart Valve Voice has joined forces with the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) to host an exciting photography competition. The competition titled Patient Portraits: A New You, will be in two stages and calls for keen photographers over the age of 18 from across the UK to submit their photographs that depict how they see life’s precious moments. A set of regional finalists will be selected by a selection panel made up of photography experts, a patient and a valve disease clinician. For the second half of the competition, each regional finalist will be paired with a valve disease patient and asked to create a photographic documentary showing how they are living their best life after valve disease.

The patient documentaries will be featured as part of a roadshow at participating hospitals across the UK and the ultimate honour will be when they are featured at the Houses of Parliament where an overall winner will be announced.
This photography competition will enable people to highlight the improved quality of life after treatment for heart valve disease patients,” said Wil Woan, Chief Executive, Heart Valve Voice. “Sharing photographs that depict heartfelt moments patients have been able to experience post-treatment will hopefully inspire people to increase their understanding of heart valve disease and the treatment options available.”

Partnering with RPS will allow the Heart Valve Voice team to add an expert eye and a level of prestige to the competition. “Patient Portraits: A New You is an exciting collaboration between photographers and heart valve patients and is an excellent example of how photography can change people’s perceptions of a medical condition,” said Dr Michael Pritchard from The Royal Photographic Society. “We are pleased to be collaborating on this unique photography contest and would encourage anyone interested to get involved and submit an entry.”

Not only will the competition raise awareness for valve disease and the benefits of timely treatment but it also provides a platform for patients to express how important being treated is to them and that life doesn’t stop with a diagnosis of valve disease. The competition kicks off on 5 December 2018 and regional entries will be accepted until 31 January, 2018. To find out how you can get involved either as a photographer or as a patient volunteer please visit the competition website here and to learn more about heart valve disease and to read some of our inspiring patient stories visit the Heart Valve Voice website.


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