Grateful mum to run half-marathon from home to hospital
A mum of two from Warrington is running the 13 miles, half-marathon, from her home to Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital (LHCH) to say ‘thank you’ for the specialist care she received before and since the birth of her daughter.
At 32 weeks pregnant, to hear the words, ‘heart attack, heart failure, rare heart condition and surgery’, was a frightening prospect. But that was the situation that 32-year-old Rachel Munn was facing.
After experiencing some discomfort in her chest, Rachel went to her local A&E and was stunned to be told that she’d had a heart attack and was showing signs of heart failure. Rachel was immediately referred to LHCH for specialist care and her clinical team discovered she had a rare heart condition, called Anomalous Right Coronary Artery.
Rachel said: “To say I was petrified was an understatement and it almost felt as if my world had stopped.
“The LHCH team were clear that I couldn’t go home and wanted to monitor my heart very closely until a plan could be put together for the rest of my pregnancy.
“In the end they decided that the best solution for me was to be transferred to hospital in Manchester where their cardiac team could keep my heart under observation, and their specialist obstetric team could deliver my baby safely via C-section at 37 weeks.”
Rachel said that the challenges only got harder, as immediately after giving birth, she was moved to the intensive care unit for 5 days, while her daughter was taken to the post-natal ward.
“It was a really difficult time and the mix of emotions was unreal. I was so happy we were both alive, but the upset of her going off without me was heart-breaking.
“Eventually, following a series of further heart tests, I got the news I wanted more than anything else - I could go home and was referred back into the care of the team at LHCH.”
However, a further challenge arrived within days of Rachel coming home as the first covid lockdown arrived.
“After being in intensive care just days earlier, surrounded by specialists and hooked up to machines for weeks, to then be isolated at home and told to shield because of my heart, was actually pretty scary. It was almost like a battle with my mind.
“But thanks to the care, support and reassurance that I received from all the clinical team at LHCH, especially the Psychology Team, I was able to slowly build my confidence and realised that a life lived in fear is not a life lived. Throughout covid, the team at LHCH were my lifeline and I’ll always be indebted to them for the emotional support that they gave me, and for making me realise that I could get back to full fitness and return to running.
“That’s why I want to show my gratitude for all they did for me, by raising as much money as I can for the hospital charity, so that they can support other patients and families like me.”
People can donate to support Rachel in her fundraising effort for Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital Charity by visiting: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/RachelLiverpoolheartandchest