Sports and Brugada Syndrome
I played out on pitch for Chelsea youth team and I also played for Charlton youth team in goal. But I had to give it up when I was diagnosed with this rare heart condition called Brugada Syndrome.
I needed to have a device fitted straightaway that could save my life.
I now have an implantable defibrillator that will detect if my heart goes into a life-threatening abnormal rhythm and will shock it back into a normal rhythm. Once I had the device I was told I could never play in goal again, because of the way you throw yourself around as a goalie.
I’m quite tall – I’m six feet and I was very fit, but when I was recovering I went down to eight stone. It ended my football career.
Because of my slim build I had to have the device fitted under my arm. It was very hard getting used to the box on my side. I couldn’t sleep on that side or even put my arm down normally for weeks. I walked like a bird, with my arm out.
My family were all been tested and my mum, sister and grandmother found out they also have Brugada.
It was a bad time but now I am just used to it. I can’t go back in goal but I’ve just re-joined a Sunday league team playing out on the pitch. I’ve never let this defib stop me doing anything I want to do.”
What is Brugada Syndrome?
Brugada Syndrome is a rare and inherited heart rhythm disturbance that restricts the flow of sodium ions into the heart cells which results in a disruption of the flow of electrical impulses through the heart.
Others living with abnormal heart rhythms
Brugada syndrome is one type of heart rhythm disturbance that affects the heart. Here are others living with abnormal heart rhythms.
Philippa's AF and cardiomyopathy
Ian's atrial fibrillation
John's successful ablation
Support life saving heart research
In 1980, a major technological breakthrough signalled a new era for treatment for abnormal heart rhythms. In the 60s, defibrillators were about the size of a refrigerator and had to run off the mains, but as time passed and technology improved, it was possible to make a much smaller device.
We are dedicated to improving the lives of patients by funding medical research into heart conditions. By funding our research, you're contributing towards advances that could make huge differences in the lives of patients just like Josh. Consider making a donation today.