Rich

Tell us a bit about yourself

I am 48 years old, originally from Leeds and currently work as a freelance website developer for international Ecommerce beauty companies.

Prior to this I was a teacher. I have moved about a bit and have lived in various parts of the UK, as well as Italy and France.

I am married and my wife and I will be celebrating our silver anniversary later this year. We have a 27-year-old son.

When did you first know there was something wrong with your heart?

I first realised something was not right in the spring of 2016 when I started feeling ill. Walking was beginning to get difficult and I was getting tired very easily. I initially put this down to flu.

After feeling ill for a few months and gradually getting worse, I finally went to the doctor in August 2016 and was admitted to hospital for tests. The specialists initially thought I had liver problems, but after an echocardiogram, I was diagnosed with heart failure.

How has heart failure changed your life?

Surprisingly, in many ways heart failure has changed my life for the better! Yes, I get tired more easily and have to take lots of medication, but it has also given me the nudge I needed to take better care of myself. I now run three times a week and am in training for my first 10 kilometer run this summer. I am probably fitter now than I have been for many years!

What advice would you give someone who thinks they may have heart failure or who has just been diagnosed?

If you think there is something wrong with you, go see your doctor. Don’t wait, like I did, as not only could the condition get worse, but you may also start to panic about not having any answers.

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