British Society for Heart Failure

BSH patient Advisory panel

Laurence enjoyed a successful 40 year career as a leading physical oil broker in the worldwide energy market. His professional career was curtailed on diagnosis with heart valve disease following a heart attack in 2014.

He has had surgery twice to repair and replace affected valves. Subsequently he was then fitted with a pacemaker; he currently lives with heart failure.

“Since being diagnosed with heart failure I have been careful to manage my medicine and exercise routine. But it’s the first thing that tips you over the edge. The minute you get an infection your water retention goes up, your lungs fill up, and you have to be ultra-careful. So Covid-19 is quite scary”.

Laurence is an active charity fundraiser involved with the British Heart Foundation and is a Trustee of a leading co-educational school.

He is father to 2 children and has 4 grandchildren with whom he is planning to spend more time once lockdown is finally over.

In December 2018, Jacob was taken acutely ill and was diagnosed with acute heart failure having previously enjoyed a very healthy, sporty lifestyle. 

He spent a week in a Coronary Care, underwent numerous tests and was discharged on the eve of Christmas Day 2018.  “It was the most daunting and frightening experience in my life and for my family”.

In February 2019, Jacob was implanted with a CRTD device in Bristol and in October the same year, had further checks including genetic testing and CT-PET in London.

He is now actively leading his life (with some limitations) as a heart failure patient and back in part-time work as a heart failure specialist consultant at the Royal United Hospital leading the heart failure services and has received the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award for Echocardiography’. “Given the experience of being on both sides of the condition, I feel I serve heart failure patients and their families from my own person experiences and from my experiences of developing the services in Bath”.

In his spare time, Jacob flies remote-controlled model aeroplanes and helicopters,  fly fishing and photography

I was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy in 2012 and now happily manage my condition with via medication and an ICD.

My heart history pushed me into early retirement, but it has also opened doors, especially volunteering in the charity sector in this new, exciting role for BSH alongside my existing work with Cardiomyopathy UK.

I’m a lover of the natural world, enjoying walking and nature photography. My favourite place would be a toss-up between a forest glade or watching a rugby match, a sport I’ve played, coached, and now help to administer.

Lynn describes herself as living ‘a life of two halves’, her successful business career having been halted by a diagnosis of cardiomyopathy.

At that point her professional journey became her patient journey, heavily reliant on her experience of developing and managing businesses, organisations and events in the retail, financial services, human resources, health research and charity sectors.

“Inclusion, after integrity, is my most important value”, Lynn is a Change-maker for Cardiomyopathy UK and also an active member and Trustee of the Vital Signs Foundation for young people with heart problems. She is a keen advocate and ambassador for beneficial change with a passion for making a difference, for helping others be at their best and for doing the right thing. 

In January 2020, Alice became a NHS Transformation Project Officer for Dorset County Hospital, following a background in buying and merchandising within the retail and fashion industry and after gaining a degree in Fashion Studies.

Alice has a family history of heart failure on her father’s side, primarily due to hypertrophic and dilated cardiomyopathy where they have sadly lost many family members and several currently suffering from heart failure.  

Whilst healthy herself, she supports the care for her father who suffers from both conditions.

“I have witnessed first-hand the debilitating nature of these conditions, the challenges both physical and mental which affect the patients, their loved ones and those who care for them.  Throughout my life I have seen the difficulties of gradual decline, of sudden and unexpected events and the emotional turmoil of the transplant list. I have seen the differences that can be made to the lives of those affected by heart failure and their families, through early identification, correct research, care and empathy.”

Alice currently lives in Dorset surrounded by the beautiful countryside. She enjoys dog walking and visiting the local beaches to paddle board with her dachshund and fiancé.  She maintains an active and healthy lifestyle of yoga, Pilates, Hiit and spinning to enjoy homemade slices of cake! Other hobbies include keeping a hand in the creative world with always having a design project on the go having recently finished a ceramic hand built butter dish with a dachshund handle.

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