Watch our new TV advert
Losing someone special very suddenly is a reality to those affected by heart disease across the UK and, although our advert features actors, it is based on the stories of several real life case studies.
3,000 lives are lost every week in the UK to heart and circulatory disease, meaning hundreds of families are torn apart by it each day. But not enough people know this. The seriousness and sheer scale of the devastation is what we wanted to highlight in this film, which is why we have gone for such an emotional, hard-hitting film. We’ve told this story using actors, but for many families the situation shown in the film is all too real.
One of the most common causes of sudden death in young people is an inherited heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), which would be the character’s most probable cause of death. In HCM, the muscular wall of the heart becomes thickened, increasing the risk of abnormal heart rhythms and sudden cardiac arrest. When someone has an inherited heart condition, usually the first sign that something is wrong is when a family member dies unexpectedly.
An estimated 120,000 people (1 in 500) in the UK are living with HCM. The majority of these people are undiagnosed and, for some, it can lead to a cardiac arrest without warning.
The pioneering, life saving work of our researchers
BHF Professor Hugh Watkins and now-retired BHF Professor Bill McKenna were amongst the first to find faulty genes which cause the condition back in the early 90s.
Hugh Watkins continues to work on HCM and set up the first genetic testing service for the condition in the UK. We want everyone across the UK to have equal access to these services and through the Miles Frost Fund we are improving and enhancing services across the UK. Hugh Watkins' research also means that today, families like Owen's, can receive a potentially life saving diagnosis.
There’s still more we need to do in improve the way inherited conditions are diagnosed before they cause devastation, and the way people with these conditions are treated. We can only do this with your help.