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Kay’s story

Kay has connective tissue disease with pulmonary hypertension and attends the specialist PH service at the Royal Brompton Hospital.  She was diagnosed with PH in 2010 and her specialist physio’s help has enabled her to enjoy walking, meet people, and address her diet too.

“I had put on quite a bit of weight and it was getting me down, but Katie [specialist physio] has referred me to my local rehab team and that has really motivated me. I really needed it.

I started doing some light exercise around the house; walking around for a few minutes, then doing it again after a rest, and doing this a few times a day.

I now accompany my husband to his allotment and I slowly walk around and chat to people while he works. It gets me out of the house which is good because lockdown really made me stressed and got me down.

Now I am talking to more and more people. People look out for me at the allotment; they joke with me about how many laps I will do, and it makes me happy talking to others. The fresh air helps too.

It was Katie’s help that motivated me to do this. I used to think that because I was sick, I couldn’t do anything like that. But once you start pushing little by little, you know you can do a few more steps the next day. Without Katie starting me off, I would just have been a couch potato.

I used to worry that getting breathless would give me a heart attack but once I started walking and meeting people at the allotment and looking at nature it made me feel good.

I can also now meet my young granddaughters to walk part of the way home from school with them. They help me up the hilly bits; one pushes, and one pulls.

As well as the light exercise I’ve gone on a diet to help me lose weight. I’ve swapped traditional Indian tea with sugar for my own brew, and I’ve cut down my food portions and stopped the habits of snacking on chocolate and biscuits. My family have also supported me with this, but it was Katie’s help with the exercise that motivated me to make changes to my diet too.”