I’m incredibly grateful that I’m still alive

Fiona’s story of heart failure and hope.

Fiona was 34 and pregnant with her third child when she felt so sick and exhausted she could barely function. Doctors thought it was a bad flu until she was sent for an echocardiogram to test her heart. The results were shocking and she was rushed to hospital.

Fiona had heart failure and could have died without immediate intervention.

Now 50, Fiona is grateful she’s here to watch her family grow. She takes nothing for granted, and every day she works on her health to take pressure off her heart.

Fiona is determined to live a long life and she’s working with the Heart Foundation to make sure others do too by raising awareness of heart failure and the importance of research, early detection and prevention.

Without medical advances made to date, Fiona simply would not be here. Still, heart failure continues to threaten the lives of thousands of men, women and children across Australia.

Heart failure is an all too common form of heart disease which can be caused by heart attacks, high blood pressure or genetic factors. Heart failure is a condition in which the heart becomes bigger and weaker and doesn’t pump as well as it should. This can affect blood supply to vital organs. It can lead to fluid build up in the lungs, and cause fatigue, dizziness, coughing, and shortness of breath. Heart failure can be life threatening. 

Researchers are working on methods of early detection that can lessen damage to our hearts and prevent heart failure and Fiona knows first-hand that this could be lifesaving.

“I can’t do much alone, but together we can make a tangible contribution to early detection that can save lives,” she says. “We need to uncover new ways to detect heart failure.”

The sooner we act, the better the chance of survival. Join Fiona and donate today.

Your support can fund research into heart disease and support projects that can save lives, pioneering work like that of Dr Francine Marques.

Dr Marques is a current Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow. Her research aims to discover and implement ways to detect and prevent heart failure.

Read more about the research Dr Marques is working on.

Fiona has had open heart surgery and now has a defibrillator fitted as insurance against her heart stopping (she calls it “Larry Lifesaver!”). She eats well and keeps fit. Last year, she even participated in MyMarathon, raising funds for the Heart Foundation while pursuing a personal goal.

Fiona doesn’t believe in giving up. She knows too many families are at risk. “You never know who and when heart failure is going to strike,” she says. “Your donation means a future where early diagnosis and prevention is possible.”

Please donate today and create a future where early diagnosis and prevention is possible.

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