AN INSPIRATIONAL Wigan woman, suffering from a rare condition which dramatically increases her risk of sudden death, has launched an appeal to make others aware of the silent dangers it poses.
Kaylee Crank of Hindley Green has spoken of her struggle with the potentially deadly illness, Long QT Syndrome, as she begins a vital crusade for the Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) charity.
The 25-year-old received the devastating diagnosis just four years ago during a regular screening while studying at university studying BSc in Sport and Exercise Science.
Only affecting one in 2,000 people, Long QT Syndrome, which presents no physical symptoms, causes problems with the electrical activity of the heart.
She explained: “I have occasional palpitations, which can be scary but I have learnt to deal with them. Sometimes I feel it works in my favour because I live everyday as if it could be my last!
“But it’s terrifying to think that I may not have been here had CRY not advised me to see a specialist after the screening. This is mainly the reason I would like to raise awareness. Otherwise healthy, young, fit people often presume that everything is fine, and never imagine that they could be suffering from an un-symptomatic heart condition until something terrible like sudden death occurs.
“At this point it’s the family that suffers and it would be tragic to lose someone so suddenly to a condition that could have been diagnosed and managed.”
Now Kaylee has to take beta blockers to manage her condition as these slow her heart rate and lower blood pressure.
But side affects of these drugs can be worringly debilitating.
Therefore she has had to change her big life choices including avoiding certain medications, avoiding places with bright lights, loud music and sudden shocks, and generally avoiding anything that will raise my heart rate too much.
Kaylee joked: “So vodka RedBulls are definitely off the cards for me. Currently living with the condition is manageable, and despite it hanging over me, I try not to let it stop me doing anything I would normally do.
“My family are more affected by this than me really, I have a positive outlook, where my mum would rather me be sat in the house wrapped in cotton wool.”
Now Kaylee and a group of close pals are hoping to raise as much money as possible for the condition.
She added: “So just to give something back to CRY and raise awareness for other young people I decided I wanted to do a charity bike ride. Nothing too strenuous, seeing as I do have a heart condition, but something that was a bit of a challenge. My work colleagues decided to join in to support me and raise even more money for the charity.”
The cycle will take place on September 5.