Who Needs a Heart?

My Dad has a thing with his heart… having had at least one major heart attack and several smaller ones Dad has not had a great run with his health in recent years.

For the past few years he has been to several heart specialists to get checked out and to see what could be causing the problem.

Some Doctors have been coy and non forthcoming with a diagnosis and it’s true to say these guys aren’t cheap to see, so continued visits to doctors which are often a long way from his home in Coffs Harbour are quite taxing.

It seems however that he has finally found a doctor who is very up front and very committed to sorting out Dad’s problem. From what Dad tells me, in a single afternoon Dr Miguire contacted all of his previous doctors and now has a full history. He also has an initial diagnosis.

A normal heart and one with Hypertophic CardiomyopathyHypertrophic cardiomyopathy – which is basically muscle thickening in the walls of the heart. It can be present at birth or in can onset during adolescents and it is a disease which is heriditary in nature.

The exact cause of Hypertophic Cardiomyopathy is unknown. Both males and females can be afflicted and can pass it on to subsequent generations of the family tree. Off-spring have roughly a 50:50 chance of acquiring the disease.

While it is only an initial diagnosis at least my generations history may prove it to be true. Both my older brother and younger sister have reported symptoms which are consistant with the diagnosis. To my knowledge my younger brother has not, and I know I’m pretty much right with this one. And that is 50:50 for you!

According to what I have read the impact on the life of a sufferer can be small and it affects as many as 1 in 500 people. Most of whom have no ill effects. If it turns out that this is what Dad has we have been advised that all we offspring should get tested.

More information: The Cardiomyopathy Association.

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