A Leeds mum with links to east Antrim has told how having a heart attack at the age of 34 changed her life.
Bronnach Pemberton, who grew up in Carnmoney and worked in Carrick for several years before moving to the English city at the age of 25, has a rare condition called spontaneous coronary artery dissection.
She suffered a cardiac arrest just 13 days after her third son was born, leading to a bypass operation and a gruelling two months in hospital.
The attack occurred despite a lack of the usual indicators. “I never in my wildest dreams thought I would have heart disease; I had no health risks, I was not overweight, I did not smoke and did not drink much,” said Bronnach.
“My heart attacks were caused by a rare heart condition called spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD). This is a rare and often undiagnosed condition which effects women who have recently had a baby.”
The mother of three’s heart muscle was left permanently damaged by the attack, meaning she will need a heart transplant in the future. The attack resulted in Bronnach’s early retirement from her teaching job, while constant exhaustion made it extremely difficult to care for her children.
Bronnach’s story comes just a few weeks after the launch of a new online hub for women suffering from heart disease by the British Heart Foundation.
The web resource at www.bhf.org.uk/women includes advice for all women who want to keep their hearts healthy.
Meanwhile, SCAD sufferers are being encouraged to contribute to research into the condition at http://scad.lcbru.le.ac.uk/node/6