In 2015, Jess’s heart starting racing at speeds up to 232 beats per minute.

Tests found she had a hole in her heart and on 16 August 2016, Jess had open heart surgery. 

She said:

“It’s a date we will never forget! The operation took almost six hours and it took a couple of attempts to start my heart again but it went very well. Five hours after they brought me to the High Dependency Unit I was awake and saying hello to my family.

“Five days later I had an Echocardiogram that showed my heart was already shrinking and I was in a stable sinus rhythm for the first time.

“After six days they let me go home to recover.”

Last year Jess completed a skydive to raise money for Above & Beyond and now she is lending her support to the BHI Appeal.

“All the staff were fantastic in aiding my recovery! Everybody was incredible and I wouldn't be where I am without them.

“Since the open heart surgery, my life has greatly improved. I finally started to feel more myself almost straight away.

“Soon enough I was able to eat properly, I had more energy, I could walk up and down the stairs without becoming breathless and light headed, I was sleeping properly and no longer constantly exhausted. After five months I finally started working again.

 “A year after my surgery I took part in a skydive to raise money for Above & Beyond, all the money went to the ward that took such excellent care of me.

“Now I am working and travelling in Australia having the time of my life. The whole time I was broken I had been planning this and it amazes me that I am finally here and able to do it.”

With your support, we can ensure the BHI continues to provide the very best care and treatment for some of the UK’s sickest patients. Donate to the Appeal below.