Meet Carys, one of our talented adult members born with a Single Ventricle Heart Condition, she, like so many of our young members is also dyslexic. At just 23 years old, Carys has achieved something amazing, she has been awarded a hard-earned medical degree. She is now Dr Carys MBChB MSc (Dis). LHM Chief Exec Suzie has supported Carys and her parents throughout their half-a-heart journey, here’s what Suzie had to say:
“Over 23 years ago I met Carys’ Mum and Dad. They had just learnt that their unborn child had a complex double inlet left sided single ventricle heart condition that would need treatment for all of her life.
Carys was born and went through repeated surgery at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, emerging as a bright and confident young lady who met challenges face on. Over the years Carys has spoken out for LHM and her fellow SVHD friends. In the House of Commons on access to education, helping to create an LHM video to raise awareness of the needs of our members in school as she not only has a heart condition but also is dyslexic. She has taken part in many LHM youth and family events and has been a quiet prompt to me when she can see that there is medical confusion in the social media groups that we support.
“Teaching myself other ways to revise/learn has been a massive part of getting here because of the dyslexia and it’s definitely meant I’ve had to work harder than a lot of other (neurotypical) people in my year and getting things like extra time secured for exams was critical.” Says Carys.
The virtual graduation ceremony was in her Dad’s garden but she has her degree. Covid-19 will delay the start of her work on the wards but she is itching to get out there and practice medicine. I am so very proud of her as I really have seen every step of her half a heart journey.”
We know, amazing! An incredibly proud moment for any parent, but made that bit more special for the parents of a young adult living with half a heart! Cary’s mum said:
“As you can see from the letters after Carys’s name she got a Distinction in her MSc last year (which was in Clinical Oncology) and has been credited in a published article as a result. It is likely that her dissertation (or at least a version of it) and a literature review in gastro-surgery she has written will be published. She also finished the medical degree with a commendation as she is in the top 20%. Not bad for a young woman with half a heart and dyslexia!”
We are so excited and proud to be able to share this story with our community, we hope it shines a much needed light of hope and inspiration for the many heart-parents out there, in particular for those at the beginning of their journey.
Huge congratulations to Carys for this amazing achievement, you are a true testament to the phrase ‘Half a Heart, not Half a Life’ ❤
If you or someone you know has a single ventricle heart and would like to share your story, please email [email protected]