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British Heart Foundation
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Read any good books about heart failure/heart disease?

Hello again, everyone! Hope you are all doing well :)

As some of you may know, I have decided to "follow my heart" (pardon the pun) and attempt to do a PhD. Don't ask me to explain exactly what it's going to be about (I can't yet!) but essentially it's something along the lines of representations of heart failure in literature and whether illness can be argued to be positive/preferable to perfect health. I'm currently looking for any representations of heart disease, particularly heart failure, in literature (fiction and/or biography) and just wondered if any of you folks had read or heard of anything along those lines? The books don't need to be overtly ABOUT heart failure, even books featuring a character who has or appears to have a heart condition would be useful to me. Thanks in advance and brace yourself for lots of requests for help over the next few months/years!

Laura x

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I have read hundreds, possibly thousands, of books and never read about a character with heart disease.

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Yep, they are hard to find, which is interesting in itself!

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Eyes turned skyward by Rebecca Yarros. It's on good reads.

It's about a women who shares her dead sisters heart condition and is treated like delicate glass by her paren't sure. She is determined to fill her bucket wish though.

Hope it's helpful

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Thanks, Vonnieruth, will check it out! Let me know if you think of any others :)

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ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/259...

I found found this a very interesting point - seems to be a number references online. See the link here for example.

Would love to see where this research takes you

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Brilliant, thank you, will add this to my reading list. I'm just getting my proposal ready for funding applications at the moment, so it's very early days, but I imagine I'll be picking the forum's collective brain fairly regularly! If I get funding (or win the lottery, both equally likely probably 😬) I'll start PhD in 2019. Really enjoying all my reading so far, which bodes well! Thanks again :)

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Will do

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Neville Shire's "Pied Piper" is about an elderly windower with a heart condition recusing children during WWII.

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Girlfriend liked "Cold Hands, Warm Heart" by Jill Wolfson. About two girls with serious heart conditions.

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Thanks for those, Michael :)

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Well done Laura for following your dreams and going down this path 😁 can you use any of the positive posts on here by us heart failure dudes who recognise how heart failure has lead to our greater appreciation of what matters in life? And are factual accounts too? Just a thought xx

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I do plan to use the valuable resource that is this forum, but probably not until I actually start the PhD proper, which is still some way off. For now I just have to brag about how I have access to the valuable resource that is all you guys who will tell me anything I want to know! ;) Thanks in advance for the many hours you will spend answering all my questions - ha ha! x

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I think one of the sisters in Little Women has a heart condition

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Yes, you're right! I had forgotten about that. Thank you :)

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Brilliant idea Laura, try Jodi Picult " My sister's keeper "a really good story about a wee girl with I think heart failure and the effects on her family. A real tear jerked, there is also a film . Mary

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Thanks! :)

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Wowee...good on you laura_dropstitch... looking forward to reading your progress...in the meantime I'll rack my brain for information you might find beneficial...

Keep on reading..hugs

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Thanks! 😊

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Sounds an unusual and fascinating research. Who knows where it will take you. I will let you know if/when I recall or come across anything. Very good luck to you.

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Thank you, Jim. I have no idea where it will take me either, but hopefully somewhere interesting :)

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Check out drnikkistamp.com/ Nikki is a heart surgeon in my home town of Perth in Australia and has recently released a book. There have been a number of events promoting her book over the last few weeks but I haven't had the opportunity to attend as I haven't been well. She's breaking all the moulds when it comes to what you'd expect your heart surgeon to be. I'm looking forward to reading her book and hopefully I'll get to meet her too (hopefully at an event, not in an operating theatre). I recently saw an article about her online from the British media too.

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And congratulations on the PhD!

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Awesome, thanks, will check that out :)

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Best of luck Laura. X

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Thank you! X

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Hi Laura, my daughter is a student nurse and before she knew about my bypass surgery she had already bought Fragile Lives by Stephen Westaby. She says I should read it some time. Good luck with your ongoing adventures x

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Thank you! X

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I was going to mention Fragile lives. This is a fascinating book which I very much enjoyed. It is a pioneering cardiac surgeon writing about some of his cases. I read it a few months post discharge when I was feeling sorry for myself and the book really helped remind me (as does this forum) that there are so many people worse off than me. The book is well written , it is quite graphic. I have to say I did squirm every time he discussed opening chests ! Would recommend but not for those who don't like medical books. It is more auto biographical than fiction. I think that you would enjoy it Laura.

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Thank you, Mary Janet :) Hope you are doing well x

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