I am a Music Therapist and Music Teacher.
Music has always been there for me through the good times and the bad. Whenever I'm down, I turn to my piano, whenever I'm happy I turn to my piano. I've had many happy times playing in orchestras around the world and music is such a big part of my life!
I was born in the Philippines, adopted at 6 months old by my British parents and was brought over to the UK shortly after.
I was born with 9 fingers (little finger on left hand missing since birth) and I have 1 lung. To top it off I was diagnosed with the incurable heart & lung condition, Pulmonary Hypertension due to a PDA (hole in the heart) in 2008. I was sadly misdiagnosed with Asthma for 10 years and my hole in the heart was missed. My hole cannot be closed up due to the high pressures, so I am on medication and oxygen therapy to keep my PH as stable as possible. My only cure is a double lung transplant. Despite this I still play the piano and cello and before my PH diagnosis, trumpet.
However this doesn't stop me from achieving the things I want to do in life. I will always live by the quote, which a very good friend told me, 'Live Life to the Full' - this little girl was a best friend of mine, who sadly passed away with cancer, when we were just 9 years old. She definitely lived life to the full and I hope I am doing her proud by doing the same!
I am writing this blog to let people know that my heart and lung condition is a rare one. Not many people will know what Pulmonary Hypertension is. To be honest, nor did I, until my diagnosis. Pulmonary Hypertension is a rare, progressive and incurable condition. I have since learnt a lot about this condition and I want to make it one my ambitions to make sure everyone else is aware of it too. Yes it can be an invisible illness, for me it is, but I know we are all guilty of judging people. Please if you see someone with a blue badge, consider there could be something terribly wrong with them.
Since I was a little baby, my life has been hospital appointment, after hospital appointment. I should be used to them by now, but they are still part of my life. I am currently a patient of the Royal Brompton Hospital and I can't thank them enough for getting me to where I am today. My condition means I suffer from chronic pain throughout my body, this means I sometimes can't even move or walk from my bed, migraines, where I end up in bed for the whole day and severe breathlessness meaning the shortest of walks I struggle to breath and my lips turn blue. All these symptoms are due to the lack of oxygen in my body, because the hole in my heart has caused my blood and oxygen to mix, as well as high pressures in my pulmonary arteries causing Pulmonary Hypertension. Everyday I wake up not knowing how I am going to feel and whether each day is going to be a good day or a bad day.
I have always been told to follow my dreams, and to never let my heart condition hold me back. I am someone that lives by life, not by my illness. Should you see me down and not able to do things, then this is when my body will not let me. Though this *touch wood* is rare, it really does knock me for six, but one thing for sure, is that I bounce back to fulfilling my life!
I have been very lucky to have met the love of my life, Terry. We met online, and hit it off from day one. He has always been there for me and has never got frightened when having to tell him certain things about my health. Many would've run for the hills! We happily got married in April 2017 and it was the Wedding of my dreams. I was well enough to walk down that aisle and I couldn't ask for anyone to be by my side throughout my life. It takes a very strong and special person to be that man, and he's mine.
Sadly my Dad passed away in 2014, but I know he is watching over me and he will always be my rock. I will always love him and be forever thankful to him and my mum, for giving me the best childhood I could have ever have wanted.
I will never stop raising awareness for those with PH!
Be aware.. Be PH aware!