Helping out for Heart Week
LIZZIE Scott had no idea the pain in her chest she’d been ignoring would see her carted off in an ambulance.
The 17-year-old was walking along Queen St in October when she felt a strong spasm in her back and heart.
It wasn’t until she began struggling for breath that she realised she needed an ambulance. Doctors are yet to pinpoint the cause of the attack.
Lizzie is telling her story in support of the Heart Foundation’s Heart Week appeal which runs until Sunday.
‘‘I went downhill really quickly – I was just barely conscious when they rushed me off to hospital,’’ she says.
‘‘It’s pretty scary to think if we had waited any longer to call the ambulance I could have kicked the bucket.’’
Living with an undiagnosed heart problem is tough, the Onehunga High School student says.
‘‘It’s very frustrating not knowing and pretty scary.
‘‘It also puts strain on the body during stressful times such as exams. I am learning to deal with it and it is certainly nice having support from my family and groups like the Heart Foundation.’’
Lizzie had difficulties with breathing and dizziness from about 9 years old but seldom told anyone and tried to ignore it.
Heart Foundation medical director Gerry Devlin says diagnosing a heart condition can be difficult.
‘‘It is often challenging to obtain a diagnosis in patients with symptoms suspicious of a cardiac origin,’’ he says.
‘‘Careful consideration should be given to appropriate investigations in each individual case.’’
The foundation is calling for donations to support its work and asking people to think about their health this week.
An army of volunteers will be taking to the streets nationwide on February 13 and 14 to collect donations.
Proceeds will go towards funding research and programmes to help people make healthy living choices.
Heart problem: Lizzie Scott is believed to be suffering from an undiagnosed heart problem.