A woman living with heart failure is taking part in a campaign to help British Heart Foundation NI raise awareness of research into the condition.
Tara Loughlin (42) from Ballyclare is supporting BHF NI’s Thank You campaign which is raising awareness of the advances made in heart research over the past 50 years.
Tara was diagnosed with heart failure in June 2017. Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump sufficiently to maintain blood flow to meet the body’s needs. While there are treatments available to control the symptoms, the only current cure is a heart transplant.
She said: “I was always fit and healthy. I have two dogs and was a runner and did Zumba classes. Six years ago I noticed something was wrong. When I was running I couldn’t breathe as well as I used to and would get some palpitations, but I don’t think anything of it. Then three years ago I collapsed in work. I underwent investigations and was diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy when nerves in the body’s extremities are damaged so I put all my problems down to that. Last June I was having palpitations that wouldn’t go away and after more tests I learned my heart is damaged and I have heart failure.
“I’m having tests to find out why this has happened. I was told that usually part of your heart is damaged, but in my case it’s my whole heart so we’re still getting our heads around it. My quality of life has really been affected. I’m tired all the time and my legs feel heavy. I have shortness of breath and find it hard to keep active. It has had a huge impact on me and sometimes it’s hard to stay positive. I might look fine, but I’m living with a failing heart.”
Tara is organising a sponsored walk in Carlingford on February 24 to raise money for the BHF. To sponsor Tara or learn more about her story, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/tara-ferris