Firstly I Would like to thank you for taking the time to read my story.
PFO - Patent Foramen Ovale
(This is a hole between the left and right upper chambers of the heart).
When I was just thirteen years old I suddenly fell unwell during a maths lesson. I was conscious but unresponsive, the school called my mum to say that I was showing symptoms of a stroke. I was taken to A&E at Frenchay Hospital.
I lost use of the left side of my body, my face dropped on one side, my speech was slurred, I couldn't walk. My scans came back normal so after a week in hospital we were discharged with no answers. I was still unable to walk. However after a week at home and off school, I was able to go back to school aided by crutches. This was all very frustrating as I had just finished artistic gymnastics which I had been doing competitively from the age of 6 and had just joined a cheerleading squad so was used to always being very active.
A year later, my dad had a stroke. Luckily he has made a full recovery since then. He found out that he had a PFO which is a certain type of hole in the heart. At the time of his stroke there was no funding available to have a procedure that closes the hole which can prevent further strokes so had to take medication (blood thinners) to reduce the risk of having further strokes. However, 8 months later, NHS England gave hospital Trusts a limited amount of funding and my dad was able to have the procedure. This was a success.
After my dads stroke, he saw a Cardiologist and was told that my sister and I had a 50% chance of having a PFO. As I had the episode a year before, my dad asked if that could have been a similar thing. I therefore went on to have something called a bubble echo and I was then diagnosed with a PFO. At this time I was told that nothing needed to be done apart from taking extra precautions when flying to prevent blood clots. I also had to start taking aspirin.
Over the next few years I just carried on with life, finishing school, going to college, working part-time as a gym coach and being accepted onto an NHS apprenticeship working in Children's A&E. Last year, I managed to gain a place onto Team England Paracheer in Cheerleading, this was my absolute dream! I was training towards the World Championships in Florida which was in April.
In November I had another episode of where I temporarily lost the use of the left side of my body, my speech was slurred, my face dropped and memory loss. Doctors put this down to a mini stroke.
On the 28th February 2018, I had a TOE test which indicates how big the hole in my heart is. The findings of this test was that it is a large hole, something that should not be ignored. If NHS funding was available, I would have the closure procedure as I am so young and do not want to have the worry of having a bigger stroke in the future. To have this procedure privately would cost approximately £16,000.
Having this life changing procedure could prevent me from having bigger strokes in the future.
Thanks again for reading my story and for any contributions towards my fund ❤️
- John Penny
- Tim White
- Bob&Jackie Meredith
- Donna Meredith-Wood
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more