Name: Roderick Skinner
Age when diagnosed: 44
Condition: Triple bypass and replacement of defective (congenital) aortic valve with a mechanical
How has having a heart condition impacted on your mental health?
The contemplation of heart surgery had the effect of my focusing on my own mortality. I was
convinced that the operation would be unsuccessful and lead to my early demise. That had a
profoundly depressing effect on me and impacted on my family and my relations with them.
Happy to say, when my fears proved to be unfounded, I rapidly bounced back and have remained
optimistic since that day some thirty years’ ago when I underwent the surgery.
How has The Somerville Foundation helped?
The Foundation is a constant source of advice and information. Being a part of it gives ready access
to those with similar conditions and allows for a practical exchange of experience.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
If you have a heart condition, be entirely open about it with friends and family. Don’t hesitate to
share your concerns. Make full use of the Somerville Foundation’s expertise. Speak to others with
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