The Brompton and Harefield: helping my family

The Fenner family, 2011

In May 2008 my 18 year old brother collapsed due to an undiagnosed heart condition: Dilated Cardiomyopathy. The Royal Brompton hospital fitted him with an ICD so that if his heart stopped again, it would automatically get shocked back to life by the defibrillator.

In March 2010 he went back into hospital with heart failure and spent 3 months living at Harefield Hospital. For 2 of those months he was extremely ill and quickly deteriorated to the point where, on the 16th April he was put on the emergency heart transplant list. 46 hours later a heart became available and he was being taken into surgery. 14 hours after that, he was in an induced comma in intensive care. 2 days later he woke up and the rest is history. 2 years on he’s fighting fit and studying at University like any 22 year old. He’s loving life. This is only possible because of Harefield hospital and the amazing people that work there.

Mum, dad and I all have the same disease that my brother had. Luckily my youngest brother doesn’t have it. Thanks to the Royal Brompton, we are all safe and stable. We regularly have tests to manage the disease and are taking part in research to help other families with the same defect. Without this support we could all be at much higher risk of heart failure.

It’s very important to me that The Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals can continue to support the hundreds of people on both the heart and lung transplant lists right now, along with their friends and family.

There are 3 things you can do to make sure this is possible:

3. Join the donor transplant list

Our story’s a long one. This is a very small part of what happened between 2008 and today. If you’d like to know more you can contact me at l.fenner@hotmail.co.uk. I’d like to help anyone with the condition or going through a similar experience.

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