Worried son diagnosed with atrial fib... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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Worried son diagnosed with atrial fibrillation at 19 years old


Hi all

I suffer from anxiety myself so excuse me as I'm in panic mode !Today my 19 year old son went to the doctors as he has been experiencing chest pains and his heart has been racing. We have a finger pulse monitor and sometimes whilst he is sat still his heart is doing 130bpm.

The doctors surgery wouldn't allow me in due to covid19 so he went in on his own to have an ecg. I dont know the outcome of the ecg other than them telling him he has atrial fibrillation and will need to have a chest xray, blood tests, and to see a cardiologist.

I have so many questions and am so worried.

My son has been having pains and has passed out several times during the last year and has had previous Ecg's which have all been fine. Can it just start like this and not show up ?

Had anyone else experienced this at such a young age ?

Thank you from a worried mum

7 Replies


Im sorry you are having a hard time.

Its a scarry thing for sure but the good thing is he is being seen.

I started with fainting when i was 4, but it got much worse when 18,

Stress, coffee and late nights diddent help.

Try to be calm, these things take time as im discovering too.


MilkfairyHeart Star

Hello Cj0414

Welcome to the forum.

It must have been a shock however it is encouraging that your son's condition has been diagnosed it means he can receive the best treatment and monitoring that he needs.

My brother in law has lived with Atrial fibrillation for over 30 years since his early 20's

The Arrthymia Alliance has some good information and may well be able to help you further.


Hi Cj0414, welcome to the forum.I'm sorry to hear of the worry you are having with your son.I have recently been told that my atria are 'irritable' by a cardiologist but not yet enough to be called AF.I have found the AF association group on this site really useful and I think you would too.Many of the posters have many years experience of this condition and would be very happy to answer any questions you have.

Me from late 20's. My cardiologist from Barts and St Georges over 40 years ago is very involved with an organisation called Arrhythmia Alliance which you may wish to look up. I am now 76 and struggled to come to terms with various arrhythmia including decades with Afib. Treatment and advice is paramount as your son needs to mitigate the risk of stroke. Rhythm medicine plus anticoagulant. He maybe a candidate for Cardiac Ablation which I have now had.

My very best to you. As a long term sufferer, please ask any question.

Hi worried mum the good news is that his problem has been identified and they have not rushed him into hospital. Your anxiety is understandable but it seems he is getting the care he needs.

I’m so sorry about your worry - but if you feel your son is suddenly not feeling well, you can always go to your nearest A&E department who are very caring particularly with a heart patient undergoing investigation. 111 are always very helpful too. It happened to my husband one evening - and they gave me excellent advice, and they decided it would be best to go to A&E. They thoroughly checked him over, with ECG. He was able to come home that evening with reassurance. A&E got in touch with our GP the next morning, and then got his medication sorted out a few days later. Do hope all goes well for you.

Very sorry to hear about your son and I genuinely wish him all the best. The good news is with the right treatmentHe can live a full life, It depends On each individual Of course.And what is actually wrong and has causedIt and how serious it is.The other good news is that they have Identified the problem quickly and now can receive the best treatment.It will probably meanSomeLifestyle Changes Over the long-term. Being diagnosed with anyHeart condition is extremely frighteningBut because the NHS have so much experience with heart problemsAnd because they have tried to practice and refine and perfect what they do over the yearsYou are in good hands.Once again I wish you and your son all the very best

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