A Melton heart attack survivor has launched a new UK charity to raise awareness of the rare condition which caused it.
Rebecca Breslin suffered her heart attack in March 2012, at the age of 34, as a result of a tear to a coronary artery which blocked the flow of blood in her heart.
The rare condition, which affects people with few or none of the normal risk factors for heart disease, is called spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD). It cannot be predicted or prevented and the cause is unknown.
Rebecca said: “When I had the heart attack caused by SCAD in March 2012 I was a fit and healthy 34-year-old. I had no concerns about my health, especially my heart.
“Nobody could tell me why my SCAD happened or if it would happen again. I was frightened and felt very isolated. I’d survived but I was scared to live.”
She added: “I found other SCAD survivors through Facebook and our patient community has blossomed, providing critical support. We’ve achieved so much as an informal patient group and now we have our own charity we can continue our work with formal objectives as the Beat SCAD team.”
Rebecca launched Beat SCAD last month, during the first ever conference for SCAD survivors held at Leicestershire County Cricket Club.
She said: “Many SCAD patients experience delayed diagnosis and a lack of information about the condition, as well as confusion and depression at being unable to get answers. Often patients know more about SCAD than the medical staff treating them.
“Patients who met on social media sites have, over the past few years, supported each other, raised awareness of the condition and raised money for research. Beat SCAD aims to build on these patient-led initiatives.”
One of the group’s major achievements has been to work with the Leicester Biomedical Research Unit at Glenfield Hospital to create a research project into the causes of SCAD.
Rebecca, who said: “We have an amazing team of researchers in Leicester who are working hard to help us find the answers we desperately need, answers that will save lives.
“The strength and determination within our group is immense - together, we will beat SCAD.”
For more about Beat SCAD and the work it does visit beatscad.org.uk, see their Facebook page at www,facebook.com/beatscaduk or follow them on Twitter @beatscaduk