Coming to terms with an inherited heart condition
Lisa had no idea that she was living with an inherited heart condition – until she suffered a cardiac arrest out of the blue. She was relaxing at home with a friend when she suddenly started slurring her words and fainted. Luckily, her friend was quick to call an ambulance and did CPR until paramedics arrived.
In hospital, Lisa had an ECG test to find out what had caused the cardiac arrest, and was diagnosed with a heart condition called Long QT syndrome. The condition causes irregular heart rhythms, meaning Lisa needed to have an ICD implanted in case her heart stopped again.
Long QT syndrome is an inherited condition, so Lisa’s daughters Ellie and Amelie were also tested, and were found to have the gene. Luckily, they can manage their condition with medication, but they also have to be careful not to get their heart rate up too high, being extra careful and holding back at events like school sports days or in PE lessons.
A former competitive swimmer and keen gym-goer, it was hard for Lisa to come to terms with her diagnosis, and with passing the condition on to her daughters. Luckily, a BHF-supported genetic nurse, Tootie, was on hand to help her throughout the process of genetic testing.
Lisa doesn’t want to let her family’s heart condition get in the way of enjoying life. From going on holidays abroad and riding roller coasters to teaching her daughters how to swim, they still enjoy activities together as a family.