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New Thames Valley support group

New Thames Valley support group

A Reading man affected by the heart muscle disease cardiomyopathy has joined forces with a Slough mother whose son has the condition to start a local support group.

Richard Corder and Diane Jackson (pictured above) are holding the first meeting of the Thames Valley Cardiomyopathy Support Group on Thursday, April 11th, 8pm at Grange United Reformed Church Hall, Circuit Lane, Reading RG30 3HD.

The support group, which plans to meet alternatively in Reading and Slough, will provide families with more information about the disease and the chance to meet others who are affected.

Richard was told many years ago that he had a heart murmur but it was considered insignificant. In 2002 he developed breathing problems and palpitations and was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The condition causes the heart muscle to thicken and can lead to abnormal heart rhythms and pumping problems.  In 2004 he had open heart surgery to remove some of the thickened muscle. This eased some of his symptoms, allowing him to get back to a normal life.   Last year his heart rhythm problems returned and he was fitted with a pacemaker.

Though retired, he leads a busy life, including being a patient representative on the South Central Cardiovascular Network.

Diane’s son Danny was diagnosed with the same type of cardiomyopathy after having a cardiac arrest at school when he was 13.  He has had an internal defibrillator fitted. This shocks his heart back into a normal rhythm if it develops a dangerous one.  Danny is now 22 and leading a normal life. 

Richard and Diane are both members of the CMA and on the charity’s network of volunteers who provide support to others by telephone and email.
The CMA is backing Richard and Diane’s group and the main speaker at the first meeting will be Robert Hall, the charity’s chief executive and medical director.  He will be talking about the different types of cardiomyopathy – dilated, hypertrophic and arrhythmogenic right ventricular – latest treatments and the services provided by the charity to help families in the UK. 

Richard said: “When I was first diagnosed with the condition my cardiologist told me about the charity and they gave me the true facts about the condition without any scaremongering and a lot of support.  The condition is not rare – it is thought that at least 1 in 500 people is affected – so there must be many families in the Thames Valley affected by it and we are keen to help them get the support they need.

Diane said: “When Danny had his cardiac arrest it was such a shock for us all. But we got lots of help and support from the Cardiomyopathy Association. So Richard and I are keen to set up a support group to help others.”

To find out more about the group, email David Greenwood at the CMA.

by CMA Manager on 12-Mar-13 10:34

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The Cardiomyopathy Association's Registered Charity Number is 803262.
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