Sunderland mum with rare heart condition that could cause sudden death thanks 'life-changing' charity

A mum with a rare heart condition that can cause sudden death is set to take on a 10 mile coastal walk to thank the charity which ‘changed her life.’

Lyndsay Ritson, was just 23 when she was told she had a rare heart condition called brugada syndrome – despite having no symptoms at that point.

The mum-of-two from Washington was in hospital with gallstones when she underwent a scan that raised alarm bells with doctors and saw her referred to the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle where she was later diagnosed.

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The condition, which affects the way electrical signals pass through the heart, can cause the heart to beat dangerously fast, which can be life-threatening.

Lyndsay Ritson, with children Jack, nine, and Kayla, seven.

"It was found quite spontaneously,” Lyndsay, 32, said.

"Over time I have been getting palpitations, near fainting episodes and dizziness.

"It is so rare. Even the doctors are still learning about it.

"It is such a dangerous thing and it is scarier the older I get."

Lyndsay Ritson is taking on a charity walk for North East Hearts With Goals.
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Lyndsay was put on beta blockers to help with these symptoms but after suffering side effects a decision was made to take her off the medication.

But thanks to charity, North East Hearts With Goals, Lyndsey was given her own defibrillator in July 2020.

"It has changed my life,” Lyndsey said.

"If I'm struggling to sleep, or if I have had a bad day with it, just having the defibrillator next to my bed brings a lot of reassurance.

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"[But] I am doing well. It’s nine years down the line and I’ve not had a cardiac arrest despite having Type One, which is the worst type.”

Lyndsay, who is married to Robert Ritson, says their children Jack, nine and Kayla, seven, also know how to use the defibrillator in case it is ever needed.

Now in a bid to thank North East Hearts With Goals, Lyndsay is set to walk from Morrisons in Seaburn to the fair in South Shields – and back again – on Sunday, June 13 in the hopes of raising £1,000 for the charity.

A Go Fund Me Page has been set up with everything raised going towards the cost of putting a defibrillator in the community and in the homes of people with heart conditions.

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Lyndsay’s message on the page says: “Without the help from this amazing charity and having this defibrillator nearby in case a cardiac arrest happened I would have less chance of survival.

"It brings huge reassurance in our home and in our lives.

"Helping to raise money for Northeast Hearts with Goals will make sure more lives can be saved by placing more defibrillators out there.”

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