‘I was a walking ticking time bomb’ says Soham woman who is raising money after heart transplant
- Credit: Archant
“I was a walking ticking time bomb,” says a Soham woman who underwent open heart surgery earlier this year and is holding a fundraising event next month.
Louise Cross, who has a ten-year-old daughter, has suffered from heart problems for as long as she can remember.
But it was over the last two-and-a-half-years that Louise, who works as a nurse, began having “lots of dizzy episodes.
“People would tell me that it was due to anxiety and stress, but I was having big heart rate pauses of 10 to 12 seconds per time.”
After being a few months clear, the problems escalated between Christmas and New Year.
“My 10-year-old, Chelsea, noticed that I was short of breath and asked ‘are you okay, mummy?’
“I then spent a night in Addenbrooke’s Hospital, before being transferred to Barts Heart Centre in London and then Newcastle where I had open heart surgery in March,” said the 37-year-old.
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Louise, whose first two offers of heart transplants were turned down by doctors and attempts to fit pacemakers failed, was discharged from hospital on April 26.
It is now almost seven months since her first heart surgery.
“Back then, I was a walking ticking time bomb; but the third offer came very quickly.
“It had already been tested by doctors and was suitable. The person it was supposed to be going to, a 36-year-old man, was too unwell for surgery.
“It all just happened really quickly; so far I have had a very uneventful recovery.
“I’m doing really well and am returning to my job as a nurse in three weeks,” Louise added.
“Things are more of a bonus now, but the toughest thing was being five and a half hours away from my daughter.
“Luckily, she was able to stay with my mum in Soham, and my husband, Nigel, was really supportive – he stayed with me in Newcastle for the whole time.”
Before going back to work, Louise is holding a fundraising tea and cake morning on October 8 to raise money and awareness for the Freeman Heart and Lung Transplant Association. It will be held at Prickwillow Village Hall.
“They are a voluntary organisation that helps families who have had transplants with funding and support.
“There really isn’t much you can do but say thank you. To be able to do something, though, is great.
“There will be tea, cakes, a raffle and homemade crafts, and it will be great to get everybody I know together.
“I’ll be able to say thank you to them... and ‘look at me now, this is what’s happened and it was horrendous, but things are getting better’.”