Posts

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Travel information

This leaflet gives information on travelling for adults who were born with a heart condition (congenital heart condition). Having a congenital heart condition doesn’t mean you can’t travel but it may require a bit of advance planning. It…
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Lifestyle issues

This leaflet is designed to provide you with advice on some lifestyle choices and issues that may be related to your heart condition. The aim of the leaflet is to provide you with information so you can make the decisions for yourself. Download…
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Coping With Medical Procedures

Written by Dr Sara O'Curry, Chartered Clinical Psychologist Who wouldn't get anxious before a medical procedure? Biologically speaking, a procedure is a threat (someone moving towards you with a sharp object) and we are designed to respond…
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Emotional and Mental Health Resources

Emotional and Mental Health Resources Here are a selection of articles and resources that address some of the emotional and mental health challenges that can arise for people designed to help with living with congenital heart disease. For additional…
Your Heart and You book

Your Heart and You - Book review

Your Heart and You - by Elizabeth Wilde McCormick, Leisa Freeman Published by Piatkus Books ISBN: 0749922036 Priced at £6.99 Buy Your Heart And You: A holistic guide to a healthier heart  Looking after your heart is important whether…
King of Hearts book

King of Hearts - Book review

King of Hearts : The True Story of the Maverick who Pioneered Open Heart Surgery - by G Wayne Miller Published by Random House ISBN: 0812930037 Priced at £10.42 Buy King of Hearts  "1 in every 100 children are born with a Congenital…
big hearted man

Big Hearted Man - Book review

Big Hearted Man - Kate Boydell Published by Troubador ISBN: 1899293345 Priced at £7.69 Buy Big-hearted Man  How many of us have thought that we should write a book about what has happened to us as congenital heart patients? And how…
Lucky Man: A Memoir - Michael J Fox

Lucky Man - Book review

Lucky Man - Michael J Fox Ebury Press ISBN: 0091885671 Priced at £6.39 Buy Lucky Man: A Memoir  Although Michael J Fox doesn't suffer from a heart complaint his Parkinson's disease poses many of the same problems as I encounter as…
Will I Still Be Me?

Will I still Be Me? - Book review

Will I still be me? - Diana Sanders Day Books ISBN: 0953221285 Priced at: £8.99 Buy Will I Still be Me?: A Journey Through a Transplant  On Tuesday, 11th July I was honoured to be invited to the launch of a new book "Will I Still…
Baby holding mothers hands in a heart shape
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Born with a Heart condition

What is a congenital heart condition? Congenital means 'from birth'. A congenital heart condition is an abnormality of the heart that has been present from birth. A congenital heart condition is sometimes also called 'congenital heart disease'…
Marathon runners
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Royal Parks half marathon

Royal Parks Half Marathon 2018 Sunday 14 October 2018 Starts at Hyde Park, London The Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon is one of the UK’s most exciting, giving you the opportunity to run through the amazing Royal Parks of London and…
Heart Scar
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Scarred FOR Life

Scarred FOR Life is a special photo exhibition sharing the problems and heartache that accompany living with a heart condition, both mental and physical. The first Scarred FOR Life exhibition was held in Scotland at the Kelvingrove Art…
Girl dressed for winter holding a little red heart up to the camera

Inspiring others

My name is Ashley. I Love taking part in social events with the Somerville Foundation and especially enjoyed the Bloomsbury Bowling Day and the Michael Jackson thriller Day. I met lots of new people and had a great time. I have also attended…
Kelly Staddon

Overcoming the odds - My Olympic Dream

Kelly Staddon is a truly remarkable young lady. Born in 1995, she was diagnosed with Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA), a congenital heart condition which means that the pulmonary artery and the aorta are the wrong way round. This…
Heart shape stencilled on to white socks
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My Open Heart

I started to walk faster, legs shaking, and sheer panic overtook my entire body. As fast as my shaking legs could take me, I stumbled down the escalator of Oxford Circus station, attempting to get home. I carried the ‘panic attack’ label…
Nurse listening to young female patient's heart

My Transition Story

For everyone, growing up is incredibly difficult. From the moment you turn 18, you are catapulted into adult life. This often starts with little changes such as paying tax and national insurance, being able to buy alcohol and being able to vote.…
Paper cut out of family on a table next to a red heart and stethoscope

Irreplaceable Differences

I’m Donna. I’m 49, married, with 2 children; nothing out of the ordinary there - but everyone has a story to tell and this is mine… When I was born in 1967 ante-natal scans were uncommon, so when I was turning blue when feeding at 3…

A Part of Me

At 1:05 am on the 3rd October 2016, it all suddenly hit me.  “Not again”, I thought, as my heart thudded erratically in my chest, “Why me?”, “What are the chances?” – all the clichés ran through my head. It was 4 days after…
happy-hearts

Why I think happiness is a choice

Do you choose happiness? In recent months, I have been amazed by how many people have commented on and expressed how inspired they have been by my optimism and positivity when facing my medical challenges. My usual retort is that I just don’t…

The Power of Breath

Inspiration is all around us. If I look around me there are plenty of people I admire like the young girl who does the paper round every morning to help her mother, Pradyumna Kumar, a gentleman who was so defiant to be self-sufficient and cycled…
First Heart Transplant

50th Anniversary of the first Heart Transplant

Image Courtesy of health24 Fifty years ago, the first human heart transplant was performed in South Africa. Louis Washkansky, 53, was terminally ill with heart failure. The donor, Denise Darvall, was just 25. She suffered a fatal brain injury…

Lucy's experience of Surgery

My reaction from the moment I discovered the date of my operation was to cry, panic and worry – right up until the day arrived! I knew I had to get through surgery to survive and look forward to my future. This was a chance of a new beginning.…

My battle with Cancer and TOF

25th May 2016 - I was sat in outpatients waiting to see my specialist cardiologist Dr D. Wilson, even though this was a routine appointment, I felt awful. I’d been to my GP numerous times struggling with my monthlies. I’d been told I was…
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In Memory of John Beech

In Memory of John Beech John was born on the 22nd January 1953. He was diagnosed with Transposition of the Great Vessels with Pulmonary Stenosis, Fallots Tetrology and holes in his heart. As a child the prognosis for John's life expectancy…
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Joanne's Great Trek

I was only in the car for a few minutes when I heard the advert on the radio for a trek on the Great Wall of China with Charity Challenge. I was instantly curious... was I brave enough?  I figured there was only one way to find out and only…
Marathon runners
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Michelle's Great North Run

Michelle has been working hard to raise funds for The Somerville Foundation all the way through 2017. Altogether, Michelle raised over £1,300, which will allow us to continue to provide invaluable support to congenital heart patients, their…
Roseberry Topping Image by Steven Iceton
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Pauline's Roseberry Topping Challenge

Image Courtesy of Steven Iceton Living with a heart condition has always been a challenge and this has had its ups and downs. Since discovering The Somerville Foundation a number of years ago, I have received a lot of help and advice from…
Walking boots
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Walking in Gramps Footsteps

After being diagnosed with what appeared to be an innocent heart murmur as a child, Helen Witt did not think she would find herself facing open-heart surgery in her 40s. “I was born with a heart murmur, but it was never treated as the doctors…
Marathon runners
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Two Heart Surgeries, Four Marathons

Anna Borghesani was born with pulmonary stenosis, a congenital heart defect where the flow of blood between the heart and lungs is restricted by a deformity on or near the pulmonary valve. "One big thick scar, covered by another thinner scar,…
Marathon runners
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James' Remarkable Run

On the 4th of October my girlfriend, Issy, underwent open-heart surgery at St Bart’s Hospital. This was to treat an atrial septal defect, or more commonly known as a hole in her heart. Issy had been unaware of this issue until a few years…