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Heart surgery a success for Rickinghall woman




Karen Sinclair (left) has had heart surgery, after pioneering surgery failed. Pictured with her mum Diana Belcher. Picture by Mark Bullimore Photography. (2644983)
Karen Sinclair (left) has had heart surgery, after pioneering surgery failed. Pictured with her mum Diana Belcher. Picture by Mark Bullimore Photography. (2644983)

A Rickinghall woman has successfully undergone heart surgery, after a pioneering new method failed to repair a faulty valve.

Karen Sinclair, 51, was left with no other option than to have pulmonary valve replacement surgery, after surgeons deemed her valve was too blocked to accept a new technique developed in China.

She was to be one of the first in the UK to have the operation.

Undeterred, Mrs Sinclair went under the knife at St Thomas’ Hospital in London to replace the leaking valve, which she has had since 1977.

“Despite the soreness and discomfort, I am starting to feel like a new woman,” she said.

“It’s a real relief to be honest – some of the stuff I had to put up with before was horrendous.

“The worst part was the aches and pains I would feel in my arms and my fatigue, which made life hard.”

Mrs Sinclair’s heart was three time bigger on the right side than the left and she suffered from pulmonary regurgitation – a condition where the heart leaks.

The mother-of-two had a new valve inserted to replace the faulty valve, with the result that the right side of her heart dramatically decreased in size within a few days.

“I’m determined to make the most of life now that I’ve had the surgery,” she explained.

“I married my husband Andy in November and my heart problem has taken up most of our married life so far, especially with all the hospital trips. Now, we can look forward to living life.”

Mrs Sinclair has been manager of the PDSA charity shop in Mere Street, Diss, for the last 20 years.

Her new valve has a shelf-life of up to 25 years.

Mrs Sinclair also had a transcatheter inserted, which will make surgery easier and speed up any recovery if she ever needs to undergo heart surgery in the future.



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