A Lincoln County Hospital nurse with a hidden heart condition has raised £5,000 for British Heart Foundation’s life-saving research.
Vicky Burton, who works as a deputy sister, was suffering with heart palpitations and shortness of breath around 10 years ago at the age of 21.
The 32-year-old spoke to a colleague who carried out an electrocardiogram (ECG) test, which detected an abnormal heart rhythm.
An echocardiogram was carried out by doctors which revealed she had a faulty mitral valve, which wasn’t closing properly so caused it to leak.
Heart defects are diagnosed in at least one in 180 births and Vicky’s condition developed before she was born and had previously remained undetected.
Vicky, who has two sons (Leo 12 and Charlie 9), attended yearly check-ups after the diagnosis to monitor the condition, but the vale progressively worsened.
She required open heart surgery in 2014, with the procedure being carried out by Professor Gavin Murphy, BHF Professor of Cardiac Surgery at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester.
She underwent an annuloplasty to repair the faulty mitral valve and remained in hospital for nine days.
Many benefit from the research and advances made possible by the BHF, who fund research to understand the basic science of valve disease towards finding a medicine to stop it in its tracks.
Vicky hosted a charity ball in aid of the charity which was held at the Bentley Hotel in Lincoln, where she raised £5,218. This is enough money for the BHF to fund one month’s research to grow new blood vessels.
She said: “It was shocking to find out I would need open heart surgery, as for years my heart condition had remained stable. I was worried if I would recover and was more worried for my sons, because they were at such a young age at the time.
“The surgery has left me with a 20cm scar on my chest, which has taken a while to come to terms with.
“However, thanks to the research carried out by the BHF, there was a positive outcome to my surgery. The only real difference this has made to my lifestyle is that I need to take two tablets at night to stabilise my heart rate.
“I felt it was the time to give something back to an amazing charity which is obviously very close to my heart, so I was thrilled that the ball managed to raise more than £5,000 for the BHF. I want to say a big thank you to everyone who supported the event.”
BHF’s Fundraising Manager for Lincolnshire, Gary Burr, added: “We never cease to be amazed by the extraordinary ways people like Vicky fundraise for the BHF and we’re incredibly grateful for the money she has raised.
“We urgently need more people to help power our life saving research in our aim to beat heartbreak forever. That’s why we’re calling on everyone across the UK to organise their own fundraising event to help support the vital work of the BHF.”