Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Russell asks: I have a 47 year old sister with Downs Syndrome who has always had a slight heart murmur that has never caused any concerns. In the last 6 months she has been suffering from 'funny turns' when she describes her head as 'being funny.' She has undergone several tests including a heart scan and being wired to a heart monitor for 24 hours. The results showed that she has a thickening of the aortic valve that the doctors have told us is no cause for concern. Our family history includes a grandmother who had angina and died of a heart attack, our mother (she also had angina) who during a routine stent operation suffered heart failure and died ten days after the op from a heart attack, a sister (who at the time was 52) who had a massive heart attack and ended up in the bed next to our mum in coronary care. In total there are 9 offspring of whom 3 have heart problems and 4 who have high cholesterol. Gosh, we do sound a right lot don't we?! Our concern is that the valve problem our sister has, given our family history seems to have been dismissed. Should we be doing anything specific regarding this matter? If you could offer any advice we would be very grateful.

On a final note my whole family think you do a fantastic job! Although sadly mum couldn't be saved the care and attention mum, my sister and our whole family received from the staff on the coronary care unit at the Alexander Hospital in Redditch was second to none, they were truly wonderful. Our family did a sponsored walk in memory of mum and to say a massive 'Thank You' and we managed to raise £2,349 which we hoped show our appreciation in a small way.
I am so sorry to read that several members of your family have been affected by heart disease. Thank you for raising funds for us in memory of your mum which will help us to continue our work.

Judy says:

Down’s Syndrome is often associated with congenital heart disease so I am not surprised to hear that your sister has always had a murmur (an unusual sound which can be heard with a stethoscope). Its good news that your sister was told that the thickening to her aortic valve does not need to be treated right now. I am not sure why she is experiencing dizzy spells though so it would be worth revisiting the GP if it persists. Another option is to call an ambulance at the time of her dizzy spell. Your GP may be able to advise you further on this. I hope that your family will have better luck in the future.

Thank you for all the money you have raised for us, what an amazing achievement! Thanks for your question and we hope our answer helped.

No comments: