A patient who underwent life-saving surgery at the Royal Brompton has returned to the hospital to meet her surgeon and present him with money she raised in this year’s London Marathon.
Helen Doyle went back to the Chelsea hospital at the end of August to thank Professor Darryl Shore in person and hand over a cheque for £5,000 to the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity.
In 2012, when she was just aged 21, Helen suddenly began collapsing for no apparent reason and despite having no major health issues during her childhood and teenage years.
She was admitted into hospital and diagnosed with a congenital heart defect which left her with a hole in her heart, measuring approximately 15mm long and 4mm wide.
A series of tests and examinations at Royal Brompton Hospital showed her condition was worsening and doctors decided she needed open-heart surgery, which she underwent in 2015.
The operation was a success though Helen will need regular treatment and check-ups at the Royal Brompton for the rest of her life.
To show her gratitude, she ran this year’s marathon, just a year after going under the knife, for the hospitals’ charity, which raises money to buy vital equipment and amenities that the NHS is unable to fund.
Recounting her reunion with Prof Shore, Helen said: “I was so excited to see him and to be able to tell him all the things I’ve achieved since my operation.
“The last time I saw him was in hospital and I was struggling to move and speak, and now a year and a half later (with a marathon under my belt), I feel better than I have ever before.
“Because of him, I have been able to live life to the full, without worry and with an entirely new perspective.
“I’m grateful to this hospital every day, and feel like if I can get through open heart surgery then I can do anything.”
Helen has already started planning to run next year’s London Marathon.