Sue's angiogram

Sue Tuffy was just 50 years old when a heart attack struck in 2004.

Fit, active and with a good diet, her attack came completely out of the blue. Daughter Karen just wanted to know what she could do to help.

Angiogram process

Home alone when chest pains struck, Sue couldn't breathe or speak. She used her mobile to text her son-in-law and ask him to call 999.

While in hospital she had another heart attack, and underwent an angiogram - a test to help her find out where her arteries had narrowed. One of our Heart Nurses paid Sue a visit.

Recovering from a heart attack

The nurse gave her lots of help and advice, and answered her many questions. Scared to do anything, even to walk, the nurse's advice was reassuring.

Sue says: "She was lovely, like another best friend in the end. I could really rely on her."

Sue subscribed to our Heart Matters magazine, full of stories from others who'd been through the same thing. She saw she wasn't alone, that people can recover from a heart attack and "get their life back".



A daughter's fears

Sue's whole family was devastated by her attack. Daughter Karen says she wanted to wrap her mum up in cotton wool.

She adds: "I came across the British Heart Foundation and the website - the resources were fantastic".

Karen even slipped our leaflets into her family's pockets, so they'd understand what was going on too. Now the whole family is more aware of their heart health.

Sue is also giving something back to help other people affected by heart disease. She has been taking old clothes to our BHF shops and buying books from them too.



What is an angiogram?

An angiogram allows your doctor to look inside your coronary arteries and find out where and how severe any narrowed arteries are.

Other heart attack survivors

Heart attack symptoms can vary depending on the person. Here are stories of others who have experienced a heart attack:

Julie's young heart attack
Maureen's angioplasty
Jean's stents

Support life saving heart research

Until 2005, doctors only proceeded with invasive therapies such as angiograms if symptoms suggested a severely narrowed artery. That changed when BHF Professor Keith Fox and his team found that patients given treatment based on angiogram results were less likely to suffer a heart attack or die from heart or circulatory disease.

If the same approach was taken for all patients in the UK suffering from acute coronary symptoms, this would mean over 5,000 lives saved every year. National and international guidelines for best practice have been changed since to reflect Professor Fox's results.

It's your donations that make studies like BHF Professor Fox's possible. We fund heart research that can lead to better treatments and best practices. Donate today and join the fight for every heartbeat.