Holly always thought her dad was brave. When she was eight she knew it for sure.
This was when dad sat down with her to talk to about his heart.
He taught her how hearts work, how important they are and about the tiny flaw in his. He shared how this flaw had been there since he was born but that nobody found out until he was grown up and got pains in his chest.
Dad told Holly about his first replacement heart valve, and that it came from a pig. This made her laugh. But the pig valve didn’t work and dad got sick again. He had to have a mechanical one put in instead.
Holly asked dad if he was ever scared that this one might need replacing too.
“Yes,” he had told her. “And it is ok to be scared sometimes. But I will never let it hold me back.”
When Holly runs with her family to support heart research, she wears the ‘brave’ heart for her dad.
Some people don’t believe that Simon has had double heart surgery. They think he is too young.
Simon thinks so too.
It shocked him when the chest pains and the tiredness began. He was just 24. Heart failure was for old people wasn’t it? He feared life as he knew it was over.
That was 12 years ago and life has changed but it is far from over.
It was research that developed the mechanical valve that keeps Simon’s heart beating.
But it is his daughter Holly and his wife Lynne that make him alive.
It is Holly that has chooses the ‘Brave’ badge for her father.