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Woking mum shares rare heart attack horror story

Kate Alderton

4:22pm 28th February 2017
(Updated 4:30pm 28th February 2017)

A mum of two from Woking has shared her life-changing story on National Rare Disease Day.

Kate Alderton is a healthy dietitian who used to run around 20 miles a week, but two and a half years ago she suffered a frightening condition called Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD).

SCAD is a rare type of heart attack which predominantly affects females and can be hard to diagnose.

Living a healthy life and being just 30 at the time, Kate says she didn't suspect her sudden chest pains would be a heart attack.

This has ended up costing her, as she reveals a faster diagnosis may have prevented the long-term heart problems she now suffers.

"Because of that delay in calling treatment and getting the ambulance, there was quite a lot of damage done to my heart." Kate told Eagle.

"I had to have a defibrillator put in just in case my heart goes into an abnormal rhythm that could be dangerous.

"The pumping action of my heart is far below normal and I have to take four tablets a day."


(Kate Alderton)

SCAD can sometimes occur in association with extreme stress or exercise, during or after pregnancy but many cases have no identifiable cause.

Kate is now sharing her message to the public and in particular young women: "Any chest pain isn't normal for anybody, always get it checked out and don't take the confidence in your body for granted.

"I took my health for granted to be honest.

"I never even considered being a heart patient or having any heart condition at all, you just don't think it will happen to you.

"Nobody is immune to it, if you have any concerns just get checked out."

Dr David Adlam, who is from the NIHR Leicester Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit (BRU) and was behind the UK’s first SCAD research programme, said: “We’re doing all we can to find out more about why SCADs occur and how we can prevent and treat them.

“Worryingly, they also affect young, fit people with no history of heart disease, which means SCADs are often dismissed as anxiety, panic attacks, indigestion, gall stones and other conditions.

“It’s important that a diagnosis of SCAD is not delayed, which is why we want to get people talking about the condition. The sooner a diagnosis is made, the better the outcome is likely to be.”


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