A NORTHWICH student with a chronic heart condition has moved a step closer to finding a new heart.

Charlotte Carney, 21, who lives with her boyfriend Ciaran in Winnington, has been told she will be put on the waiting list for a new heart by surgeons at Wythenshawe Hospital. She is currently doing her final year of an undergraduate degree in forensic psychology at Liverpool John Moores University.

Charlotte was diagnosed with the chronic heart condition after attending a screening day Cardiac Risk in the Young event in Northwich in the late summer of 2016, after she found herself getting out of breath while exercising.

Prior to the test her GP had been providing her with an inhaler to treat her with what was was thought to be asthma.

She said: “After the tests were carried out at the screening they discovered that my heart wasn’t pumping the blood around as it should do.

“I went back to my GP and was then referred to see a cardiologist.”

Despite the challenges thrown up by her condition, Charlotte took to the internet to read other people’s experiences and as a result started her own blog describing her day to day medical examinations and describing her feelings.

The blog captured the imagination of members of the public with thousands of them logging on to read of Charlotte’s brave battle not only to express her feelings about her condition but also to continue her studies under difficult circumstances.

She recounts how she felt on starting university back in September 2015: “I was tired a lot and spent a lot of time just in my uni flat and I missed a lot of lectures because I had to walk everywhere.

“I was still going to the gym in Liverpool but it was getting harder and harder and I was just doing weights rather than cardio. The lectures I missed the most were the ones that were really ‘far away’ (15 minute walk), but especially one where I had to walk up stairs to get over a bridge.”

Despite being told earlier last year she would have to wait for a new heart, Charlotte was determined to continue her studies but increasing bouts of fatigue forced her to move back to Winnington from Liverpool last March.

She said: “At the time I was really struggling living on my own, if I was too tired to walk to the shops or even go in a taxi then I’d have no food in and I was getting homesick as well.

“When you find out you’re poorly you really want to be around your family and friends.

“I did my university work from home for the rest of the year and got taxis in for my exams and thankfully I managed to finish the year with 58 per cent, which wasn’t what I wanted but I was over the moon to just finish at this point.”

Charlotte knows she may have to put her final exams and her ambition to become a social work or a child psychologist on hold pending the outcome of a transplant.

She adds: “Once I am on the waiting list, I will need to pack an overnight bag in readiness for a call from the transplant team at Wythenshawe.

“However, it’s all thanks to my boyfriend Ciaran, my family and all my friends who have given me the belief and the motivation to keep going.”

To read about Charlotte’s story go to: charlotteshearttransplantstory.co.uk/