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Support those living with and fighting against heart disease

My name is Keanan Reeve and I am a 21 year old Physiotherapist who has just qualified from university in Manchester.
My story begins back in October 2023 when I was 4 weeks into a marathon training programme. In the early hours of Tuesday morning on the 10th of October I was woken up by severe chest pain that persisted for about 2 hours. The first thought that crossed my mind was that I was having a heart attack, however given my age, healthy diet and commitment to exercise and healthy living, I thought this was impossible, so I did my best to ignore this pain and try and get back to sleep. When I woke up the next morning, the pain had gone and I got on with my day as normal. That evening, I set out for a training run. I got about 100m down the road and found myself hunched over on the pavement with the exact same severe chest pain again. Having always been someone who doesn’t want to make a fuss, I walked home and tried to ‘sleep’ it off. However, thanks to my amazing friends at uni who found me trying to ‘sleep’ this pain off, they persuaded me to go to A&E, which I did. In A&E, I was immediately taken through to RESUS. I was then told that the likely cause of these symptoms would be a heart attack. Now 2am, alone, lying on the RESUS bed, wires and beeping everywhere, I was genuinely scared for my life.
Over the next few days, with numerous scans and tests, a heart attack still remained the likely diagnosis. On the 6th day of my stay, an MRI scan was done, which came with good news and not so good news. Good news was that I a heart attack was ruled out as a cause for these symptoms but instead, I was diagnosed with Myocarditis and pericarditis. This meant no exercise and no getting my heart rate over 120bpm for the next 6 months. Bad news being that during the MRI scan, they had picked up an incidental finding of an Atrial Septal Defect - a type of congenital heart disease that had caused a large hole to form in the septum between the two atria’s of the heart. This would require heart surgery in the near future, but the myo/pericarditis had to be gone first. After a hard 6 months of no exercise and life restrictions, the myo/pericarditis had gone and I was able to have the surgery. The surgery was done and I thought I was finally on the road to recovery. About 4 weeks after the surgery, I began to experience severe palpitations with an irregular heart beat. Something did not feel right, so I went to A&E where urgent bloods and an ECG were done which showed that my heart was in Atrial Fibrillation (AF) - a potentially dangerous heart rhythm that was caused from the surgery. There was a less than 1 in 100 chance that the surgery would cause this, but unfortunately I was that unlucky 1. Again, I was taken to RESUS where my heart rate was at 200bpm consistently whilst laying on the hospital bed. I was given intravenous medication to try and settle my heart down, which appeared to be working until suddenly my heart rate shot up to 230bpm and the room began to spin. The medical team in RESUS decided the best option would be to use cardioeversion, which would involve using electrical charge to shock my heart back into a sinus rhythm. I remember I was laying down staring at the ceiling genuinely thinking I was about to die. I remember as the sedation medication was going in just praying that this cardioeversion would work and I would wake up to see my friends and family again. Im forever so grateful to say that it did work, and that I am writing this story now 7 weeks later on long term medication, having not experienced any more cardiac events like this. I am so thankful to say that I am now in one of the best moments of my life, so very grateful for everyone around me, especially my amazing family and friends who have gone above and beyond to support me throughout this journey. I cannot thank my mum enough for all she has done for me this last year, travelling the 8 hour round trips up north to be with me in hospital, always there for me throughout the toughest 8 months of my life. I would like to thank each individual member of the medical teams who have gifted me the chance to continue with the best quality of life I could ask for. And for this reason, it is time for me to give something back. It is time for me to run that marathon that I never got to do back in October. I will be running the Helsinki Marathon, in Finland on 24/08/24 after only 12 weeks of training. I will be raising money for North West hearts charity who are the heart charity in the hospital that I was in. They provide amazing care, services and support for those living with and fighting against heart disease. I would like to raise money but also raise awareness that no matter how young you are, or how healthy your lifestyle is, cardiac symptoms should never be ignored. I exercise everyday with a rare day off, I eat clean foods with a balanced diet, I don't smoke, I don't do drugs and I only drink alcohol every 1/2 weeks. I would never have thought this would have happened to me, but it did. So please don't ignore the symptoms, one trip to A&E could save your life.



  • Margaret Hibbett
    • £15 
    • 5 hrs
  • Edna Reeve
    • £50 
    • 5 hrs
  • Aiden Patterson
    • £25 
    • 2 d
  • Anonymous
    • £10 
    • 4 d
  • Keara Escobedo
    • £50 
    • 4 d


Keanan Reeve

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