Shirley-Rose, 22, Liverpool, had no idea she was living with a rare condition...
Climbing the stairs, my heart raced and I felt dizzy. I paused and felt my heart palpitating.
It only lasted for a few seconds, then it was over.
I was 12, and occasionally suffered heart palpitations.
My GP said it was anxiety, put it down to panic attacks.
But by the time I was 19, the palpitations had become more regular and stronger.
So I spoke to my GP, and was referred for various tests.
But one day, I bent down to put a sock on and my heart suddenly started racing. I felt like I was going to pass out.
Mum called an ambulance and I was taken to Aintree University Hospital, where
I was kept in for three days.
‘Your heart was beating at 176bpm,’ a doctor told me.
Between 60-100bpm when resting is deemed normal.
Doctors believed that I had ventricular tachycardia, a heart condition meaning the ventricles weren’t working as they should be.
‘You’ll need an op to repair your heart,’ a doctor explained.
It was a shock.
I’d believed I had anxiety, but I’d been living with a heart condition all along.
In February 2015, I had heart surgery.
I recovered well.
Shortly after, I met Andrew, 24, through friends.
He was kind, supportive and stood by me when I had to have a second operation in June that year, to repair more of my heart.
Only this time, doctors discovered something else…
When I came round, they explained I had an even rarer heart condition than they’d first thought.
‘You’ve got para-Hisian atrial tachycardia,’ a doctor explained.
It meant that the left side of my heart wasn’t functioning properly. And it also caused heart palpitations, light-headedness, shortness of breath and chest pains.
Plus I had an increased risk of suffering a heart attack.
I was prescribed various meds for my heart and doctors warned me that I may need a pacemaker fitted in the future.
Other than that, I just had to carry on living my life.
My heart condition caused terrible fatigue, though.
I was forever dozing off.
I still suffered from heart palpitations, too. My heart would just randomly race, which made me feel like I was going to faint.
It’s scary, as I don’t know when the episodes will occur, and that causes anxiety.
Andrew and I are getting married next year and I worry the excitement of the wedding will trigger my heart to race, and I’ll pass out before I make it down the aisle!
But I can’t live my life in fear.
So I’m just taking it one day – and one beat – at a time!