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I was misdiagnosed as a child: I was told I had a heart murmur and often couldn’t join in with physical activities due to fainting a lot. I now know that’s because my body was being starved of oxygen due to my heart rhythm beating too fast. I was eventually diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) Syndrome. This happened while I was 5 months pregnant and my symptoms increased with the extra pressure on my heart.

After my pregnancy I was told I could undergo a procedure that could correct the problem. It took awhile but in 2001 I had the procedure of an ablation via my artery in my groin (weird procedure but pain free). The bruising from the pressure that had to be applied on my artery was more painful than the procedure. I was sent home that evening and felt fine after a few hours and back to work a week later.

I can exercise a lot better now and my life is pretty normal. I can sometimes experience slight palpitations 2-3 times per year but nothing major. I love to swim, walk and paint. I work full time and try to keep fit and eat healthy.

My sister was born with a hole in heart and a faulty valve but my parents were never told to get the other children checked. This was many years ago and I believe medical science has progressed a lot. That’s why it’s important to get the help; don’t ignore symptoms and support the research.

If you have history of heart problems in your family, make sure you get checked out. Finally, look after your heart and it’ll look after you.