Woman’s heart barely functioned after palpitations were misdiagnosed

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After suffering a bout of flu-like symptoms over Christmas, the former financial controller suffered a rapid health decline which eventually forced her to resign from work. Her symptoms, which were initially put down to stress, turned out to be signalling a far more dangerous complication with the heart. Jade has seen a drastic improvement in her symptoms since undergoing surgery, but delays in treatment can have fatal implications.

The 35-year-old’s plight began during the Christmas period of 2018 when contracted a flu-like virus.

By January, the former financial controller was afflicted by fatigue and heart palpitations, which she says made daily tasks a struggle.

Jade explained: “When I initially went to my GP with concerns, I was fobbed off three times, with them saying it was anxiety.

“My mum came with me in the end and pushed for me to have an X-ray, that revealed my heart was enlarged.”

Test results showed Jade has dilated cardiomyopathy, which was reportedly triggered by the virus she had contracted.

The condition, which left her heart hardly pumping blood, is a disease of the heart muscles that causes the ventricles to thin and stretch.

It typically affects the left ventricle first, which gets larger and causes the muscular wall to wear out.

Eventually, this seriously compromises the heart’s ability to pump nutrient-rich blood to the rest of the body.

If treatment is delayed other heart valve problems may occur, including arrhythmias, blood clots and sudden cardiac death, warns Penn Medicine.

Jade noted: “I never thought I’d be impacted by a heart condition. I think I was in shock at first. It took me a few months to realise exactly what dilated cardiomyopathy was, and how serious it was.

“I kept asking myself if life was ever going to be the same again. After my surgery, where my ICD with a pacemaker was fitted was my lowest point.

“I felt like I’d lost most of what made me who I was. I just wanted my old life back. But slowly, six weeks after the surgery, I started using dental yoga movements as things started to heal.”

Medical tests revealed that Jade’s heart’s execution fraction – a measure of how much blood the heart’s left ventricle is pumped – was just 11 percent compared to a normal range of 50 percent to 75 percent.

She started losing weight and had to cut down on her hours of work, being she was completely signed off.

Months later, in September 2019, Jade was unable to complete basic tasks like getting dressed and driving.

With a high risk of cardiac arrest, she went into surgery and recovered over a six-week period.

“Day to day I now feel a million times better. Now I was to raise awareness about yoga and the positive impact it can have on heart patients,” explained Jade.

“I never thought someone of my age and fitness levels could have a heart condition, the truth is heart disease can affect anyone at any time.”

Now a yoga instructor, Jade is still being medicated, but her heart’s ejection fraction has increased from 11 percent to 32 percent.

Cardiologists told Jade that her speedy recovery is partly due to her passion for yoga, which has proven benefits for heart health.

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