Chris's Story

In October 2012, Chris, who was 18 at the time, went to bed feeling unusually drowsy.

In the morning he was woken up with severe chest pains and struggling to breath. His father drove him to his local GP practice but within twenty minutes of arriving he was traveling to hospital in an ambulance.

Aside from coming down with a nasty case of tonsillitis in the two weeks prior to this episode, Chris was otherwise a fit and healthy teenager. Following an ECG and further tests in hospital Chris was diagnosed with myocarditis, an infection that attacks the wall around the heart muscle, which caused significant scarring. 

His symptoms disappeared after a week or two and he was advised by doctors that it was unlikely he would suffer a repeat episode. However, he has since experienced similar episodes on an almost annual basis which have seen him return to hospital. Chris’s condition tends to be brought on when he is run down, stressed, and usually during the winter months when colds and flu / germs are more common.

Despite all this, Chris is a hugely positive person and not one to let his condition hold him back he has just taken part in the BBC series ‘Heartbreak Hotel’. He is a supporter of the Alexander Janson foundation and has recently joined the youth panel for Cardiomyopathy UK – a support group for young people who have been affected by myocarditis and cardiomyopathy.