Wear Red

Today is the day to wear red. Before New Year, after a couple of months of being unexplainably ill, I was diagnosed with a type of congenital heart disease, which luckily can be treated using surgery and will not affect me later on in life. Congenital means from birth. For almost 20 years, I have lived unknowingly with this birth defect, until a kind doctor back home finally referred me to a cardiologist after months of illness and hearing that something wasn’t quite right. Originally I wasn’t taken seriously by doctors in my university area, probably assuming I was under the influence and a typical reckless student (we aren’t, I promise), and they reluctantly checked my heart via ECG, found a slight murmur but as they are so common, told me to ignore it and stop panicking. At my visit to the cardiologist the day before New Years Eve last year, I had another ECG as well as an echocardiogram, revealing that I had a hole in my heart and that the slight murmur was in fact a flow murmur, causing slight distress to my body. The reason why I’m writing this is to, one – raise awareness. I encourage any students or anyone in fact, under distress feeling as though something is wrong with their heart but that they are being dismissed by their doctor for further examination, push them and get the help you need to understand what your body needs. It was only with persistence from myself, and support from friends and family that I was able to get the diagnosis and the treatment I need. The trouble with murmurs is that they are rather common and more times out of ten are not related to any kind of heart disease, so many doctors don’t bother to chase them up. More doctors need to go that extra mile. I could have reached my forties, only to be told that I have several types of heart disease that aren’t as easy to treat. My second reason is to support the #BritishHeartFoundation in their campaign today – wear red to your hearts content and donate by texting ‘RED’ to 70060. The donation will go towards funding life saving research for heart diseases and enhancing the healthcare system to cater for them. If you’ve read all of this, thank you! Feel free to share this post if you would like to support me to raise awareness and the British Heart Foundation. Have a happy red day! ❤️

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