Claire Herridge

Living with left ventricular wall abnormality

A year and a half ago, when I was 34, I was out running when I experienced heart palpitations, chest pain and shortness of breath. I was taken by ambulance to Southampton General Hospital.

This was a shock to me as I am a PE teacher and have always lead a reasonably healthy and active life. After a few hours in hospital my symptoms had settled and I was just about to be sent home when a doctor asked for an ECG as he still wasn’t happy with my heart rate.

This was taken and it showed a massive abnormality. After several ECG’s, echocardiograms and then an MRI scan, I was diagnosed with having a large mass in the left ventricular wall of my heart.

This resulted in me having open heart surgery to have the mass removed. The surgeons said it was the size of a tennis ball and if I hadn’t recently seen the photographs of the operation I wouldn’t have believed it myself….. but it really was that big!

The mass was benign and I am now feeling good and am hoping to start running again soon. I take beta-blockers every day and have resumed my job as a PE Teacher.

The doctors still don’t know why this mass occurred and apparently the condition is extremely rare, but they continue to research as to why and how it occurred.

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