Charlotte and James' story

Charlotte will never forget the day her mum, Lorraine, had her heart attack. In a moment her life, and that of her brother James, changed forever. "Being the older one," she says, "I had to be strong for my brother. But all I could think was, how am I going to tell James if mum dies?"

Lorraine's heart failure affects the family on a daily basis as she can't do much by herself. Even walking up the stairs, she has to stop and breathe properly.

"We're not a normal family anymore," says Charlotte. "Every day I wake up and make sure she's awake. I check that she has her pills and that nothing's too stressful for her."

She knows heart failure is incurable, but Charlotte still has hope. "The British Heart Foundation have been a massive help to us," she says. "We know first-hand what they can do – without them we probably wouldn't have a mum.

Charlotte recently presented our BBC Radio 4 Appeal to tell people why the research we fund offers so much hope to her family.

We are fighting for hope

Support our amazing Mending Broken Hearts Appeal and help our scientists end the suffering caused by heart failure.

Stories of Hope

The heart failure patient

Lorraine's story

The heart failure patient

Bronnach's story

The nurse

Clare's story