I had been in heart failure for quite some time and had been ill for a number of years before my surgery during which my friends and family carried me through. In fact, I haven’t let go yet.

Hi I’m Chloe and I have CHD.  My most recent surgery was an emergency and took place in the RVH, Belfast in the Summer of 2017. In the years leading up to surgery my health had declined significantly, and my heart had begun to fail, I relied heavily on my friends and family. Prior to surgery I was told I had very little time left and although surgery was an option, we were advised that it would be complicated and carried great risk.

Prior to surgery, I recall hugging my family goodbye and writing letters that would be my farewell words and the next minute I woke feeling genuinely stronger and finding for the first time (in a long time) I could dream of the possibility of living. Even the doctors were in disbelief!  The overwhelming feeling of hope and gratitude I felt is something that stays with me to this day. I’m still pinching myself at how far I’ve come. I’m constantly fighting to live my life, but I hope I continue to do that with gratitude for every day I am blessed with.

During the toughest times my family and I received the greatest support. I am so thankful to everyone who kept me in their thoughts and prayers; took the time to send a message or helped in whatever way they could. It did not go unnoticed and truly made the unbearable more bearable. It is so precious to me!

I am eternally grateful to the cardiac team and all the staff at the RVH, who went above and beyond. I will never be able to put into words just how thankful I am to them, and especially to my surgeon, the man who saved my life!

I am so very blessed to have many precious people in my life that have shown me kindness, patience and sympathy in a way I did not know was possible. I definitely do not tell you enough how appreciated you all are. xx

Heartbeat NI and BraveheartsNI are charities which were there for my family and I through this journey. We are so thankful for the support, generosity and friendship. It is these organisations which lift a family’s spirits and make sure they know they are not alone. It means so much!  Thank you for all you do for us with Congenital Heart Disease. You are inspirations to us all!!