Footballer helps mum whose ‘anxiety’ was serious heart illness

Helen Bolton with the signed football shirt from Fabrice Muamba.''''Picture: Sarah Standing (132144-5753)
Helen Bolton with the signed football shirt from Fabrice Muamba.''''Picture: Sarah Standing (132144-5753)
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A FORMER Premier League footballer is lending his support to a mum’s campaign to raise awareness of heart disease.

Mum-of-three Helen Bolton was originally diagnosed with anxiety and prescribed anti-depressants when she went to her doctor complaining of tiredness and palpitations.

But, after temporarily losing her sight in one eye and numbness in her face, she was eventually told she has dilated cardiomyopathy.

It means the 38-year-old, of West Leigh, is at risk of cardiac arrest at any moment.

It is the same condition former Bolton Wanders and Birmingham City player Fabrice Muamba nearly died of.

Medics spent more than an hour battling to revive the star after he went into cardiac arrest during a high-profile televised match last March.

Now retired, he has donated a signed Bolton shirt to Helen to raffle off.

Helen, who owns a pet shop, said: ‘He has been fantastic and his agent has said that he will help in any way he can.

‘We both have the same condition. The strange thing with mine is that my heart would race when I was sitting down watching EastEnders with a cup of tea in the evening.

‘I was totally chilled out so I knew it wasn’t anxiety.

‘My symptoms are that I have absolutely no energy. I wake up in the morning feeling as though I haven’t slept. I get dizziness and tiredness and memory loss.

‘And I’ve been told by the hospital I’m at risk of sudden cardiac arrest – which isn’t what you want to hear when you’ve got three children.’

Helen is on a cocktail of 20 tablets a day and is on the waiting list for a CRT device which acts as a defibrillator and pacemaker.

She said: ‘The device costs £40,000 and it’s a specialist operation. I’ll be awake throughout the three hours it will take to fit the electrodes into my heart. I’m excited and nervous at the same time.’

Raffle tickets are available from Best Pet Foods, Park Parade, Havant.

The raffle will be drawn at the Hawks v Sutton game on September 21.

The money will be split between the British Heart Foundation and the Cardiomyopathy Association.