Mum of three, Michelle, 36, from Manchester has been described by doctors as a walking timebomb after numerous heart problems. At 26 she collapsed at work, and was diagnosed with a faulty mitral valve. She’s since developed a range of complications.
“They told me I needed open heart surgery. I just felt like my whole world was crushed. My daughter was a baby. I couldn’t comprehend it. I was in denial, I just thought this was the sort of thing that happened to older, unfit men, and not to people like me, " she says.
“My heart condition has robbed me of my freedom as a young woman and it has made me miss so many crucial events in my children’s lives.
”I missed my daughter’s first birthday because of the surgery. I try not to think about whether I’ll be here to see her have children of her own.”
What is heart valve disease?
If one or more of your heart valves becomes damaged or diseased, it can affect the flow of blood through your heart.
Other women with heart conditions
If you're a woman living with heart disease and worried about your health, you can find information and share experiences with others in our Women's Room.
Support life saving heart research
Dr. Justin Davies, Consultant Cardiologist at Hammersmith and St. Mary's hospitals is a heart valve disease researcher working with the BHF. Through previous research we've developed a technique for measuring how the heart muscle controls blood flow during its relaxing phase. Now we've advanced these techniques to allow measurements to be made externally using ultrasound.
We want to continue pioneering research into heart valve disease and other heart conditions. In order to continue our heart research, we need your support. Make a donation today to support people like Michelle.