A woman was told by doctors that her heart rate was “tripling” – she actually had myocardial infarction, putting her at risk of heart attack.

Jade Cook, 35, used to do yoga five times a week and knew something was wrong when she said she was breathing heavily.

But her worries were repeatedly dismissed until she asked for an X-ray, which, after other tests, revealed she had a serious heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).

One Christmas she was struck down by a flu-like virus – and left with a bleeding heart.

Despite her advanced age, she was at high risk for cardiac arrest, and had an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) pacemaker fitted during a five-hour surgery.

At first she was too weak to wash her own hair, six weeks later she was doing gentle yoga.

Cardiologists told her that her quick recovery was partly due to her love of yoga.

Jade, now a teacher from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, wants to create classes specifically for people with heart disease.

Jade, a financial controller, says: “I never thought I would have a heart attack.

“I think I was in shock at first. It took me a few months to understand what DCM was and how severe it was.

“I wondered if my life would ever be the same again.

Jade Cook pacemaker and restorer

(BHF / Omaze / OSWNS)

“My low point was having the IPD (pacemaker) fitted after my surgery.

“I felt like I had lost most of what made me who I am. I just want my old life.

“But gradually, six weeks after the surgery when things started to heal, I started using gentle yoga movements.

“Every day I feel a million times better. Now I want to raise awareness about yoga and its positive effects on heart patients.

“I never thought that someone of my age and fitness level could have a heart attack, but the truth is that a heart attack can happen to anyone at any time.”

In the year At Christmas 2018, Jade caught a flu-like virus – and by January she was suffering from fatigue and heart palpitations.

She couldn’t continue her yoga classes.

Jade Cook appeared recently

(BHF / Omaze / OSWNS)

She said: “When I first went to my GP with anxiety, I was turned away three times because it was anxiety.

“My mum finally came with me and pushed me to have an X-ray – which revealed my heart was enlarged.”

In March 2019, D.C.M.

Her ejection fraction – a measure of how much blood the heart’s left ventricle is pumping – was only 11%, compared to the normal range of 50% to 75%.

By June 2019, she was losing weight and had to cut back on her hours at work – before signing off entirely.

She said: “I couldn’t work much or go far and it had a serious effect on my mind.

“I’m usually independent, but now my mother has had to do a lot for me.

“My life has completely changed. I wondered if my life would ever be the same again.

In the year In September 2019, she suffered a massive heart attack and underwent five hours of surgery, followed by six weeks of recovery.

He couldn’t dress, drive – or do yoga.

She said: “I wondered if I would ever be able to do yoga again. I was grieving the person I had.

(BHF / Omaze / OSWNS)

“I felt like I had lost most of what made me who I am. I wanted my old life back.”

In the year After it was removed in January 2020 — a small implant is burned into the heart to help stop irregular heartbeats — her heart rate stabilized and she was able to return to work on reduced hours.

Three years later, Jade is on three types of heart medication – and her heart rate has increased from 11% to 32%.

Jed said: “I think yoga played a part too – and my mentor said he was amazed at my progress.

“My counselor never said why practicing yoga helped him, but it reduces stress and anxiety and balances my mind and body.”

She qualified as a yoga teacher in July 2021.

She said: “I want other young women with heart disease to know they are not alone.

“I was upset when I was sick at first, but I finally got diagnosed.”

Jade says she “might not be here today” if not for funding from the British Heart Foundation.


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