British Heart Foundation
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Difficult decisions for a 17 year old

Hello all who are still following my journey ,

as you may or may not be aware i am diagnosed with mitral valve regurgitation and a very rare condition that is a cleft found in the posterior leaflet of my heart.

They want to do open heart sugery on me while im under 19 so i'm young and will recover quicker. however i have difficult choice , do i have it this year and risk not being able to recover in time to start my uni course? or do i postpone it until next year and risk not having the support or help from the uni with getting a job or apprentiship? both of these have negatives and positives and it is really hard to weigh up both for me .

Most 17 year olds are choosing what party to go to nex weekend . i'm having to choose this. Its not just effecting my physical but also my mental health so on that hand id rather get it done but if i dont recover in time for the uni foundation course - the cost goes up by £5000 and thats just something neither me or my family have

any help and or support is much appreciated - if not cat pictures are also welcomed

4 Replies

Hi Cheskalane I have PM U with some information that may help put your mind at rest.

I am only 16 days post operative.

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Hi Cheskalane

Whilst it is tough to be having to consider such things at 17- you have to do it.

Questions that occurred to me whilst reading your post:

Will having the surgery make you feel better physically?

What will the effect be of waiting another year on your heart?

Starting at Uni has stresses for everyone - how will this affect your heart and your mental health?

Hopefully you have some close friends who are around to help you through this, if you leave it, will they be so available if they have gone to Uni or working?

If the op is due to be within the NHS would it be better to get it organised sooner than later in case of delays?

Will you move from a paediatric team to an adult one? And what will this be like? Perhaps you already know the one team?

I hope you have some family/friend support. In addition could you find others your own age who have had to make this type of decision?

As a much older person with two children of 22 & 25, I would want you to have the surgery as suggested by your Drs. I do think things change a lot between 17 & 19-they just do!

Your Drs will want the best for you.

Finally, I know the £5k seems insurmountable, but without your health you may not be able to start or go straight through without delaying and incurring more costs

Take care, you can make this decision- step by step.

Let us know how you are doing



Hi Cheskslane.... I do appreciate that this is a stressful situation for you ... on a number if fronts. Due to your age may i ask if you have already applied to the universities yet?

If so would it be possible to contact them to explain your situation and ask if they would be able to help by deferring the first year with the subsidy intact? When I was dealing with universities for my son they were very keen to listen and help where they could.

I do think that you should listen to your doctors and your health should be your first priority.... to help you live that long and fulfilling life.

There are other ways to look at lower costs for Unis.... looking at one near your home saves on fees and loans. The actual tuition fees should be funded in the first instance by the govt Loan .... and if you can do uni while living at home it's much cheaper ( and you get added benefits of home comforts😀 )

All the very best in making your decision

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Ps you are a very brave and amazing 17 year old!

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