Real women, real stories

There are around 3.5 million women in the UK living with cardiovascular disease. Here, just a few of them share their stories. 

You can find more personal stories from people living with cardiovascular disease in our Your Stories section.



Familial hypercholesterolaemia 

Suzanne Sheppard has familial hypercholesterolemia, a genetic condition which means she fights a daily battle against inflated cholesterol levels in her blood. 

More about Suzanne



Congenital heart condition 

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.

More about Michelle


RachelCoronary heart disease

Rachel was just 37 when she started experiencing crushing pains in her chest, arms and throat. She put the pain down to being unfit, but when she did go to the gym, the pain was so intense it made her cry.

More about Rachel


Heart attackMaureen

Despite living a healthy lifestyle and not smoking, Maureen’s first heart attack happened back in March 2004.

More about Maureen


Heart failureLorraine

Lorraine suffered a heart attack in 2005 and has since been living with heart failure. She talks about the impact this had on family life and the difficulty she had raising two quite young children whilst recovering.

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Hole in the heart Amy

Amy was born with a heart condition – atrial septal defect –  also known as a hole in the heart.

More about Amy