Name: Roderick Skinner

Age: 77

Age when diagnosed: 44

Condition: Triple bypass and replacement of defective (congenital)  aortic valve with a mechanical

heart valve.

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

similar conditions

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