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Cornish Teenager Suffers Heart Attack
7:10am 4th October 2012
(Updated 7:10am 4th October 2012)
A Camborne teenager has told Pirate FM how what she thought was indigestion, turned out to be heart failure.
Jess Smith has been told it might have been down to a problem when she was born which caused an infection to attack her heart.
That infection could have come from having her ears pierced or a brace on her teeth. The infection got into her blood stream and attacked the valves in her heart.
She had to undergo seven hour long open heart surgery when she was just sixteen. But then she suffered a heart attack. She has spent the last year recovering.
She told Pirate FM: "It was really shocking because I was dancing and doing gymnastics and you don't expect it to happen to someone like that. Now I can't go out as much as I'd like because I get really tired, constantly, tired. I was off school for a year. It's had a big impact on my life."
The seventeen year old is now waiting for a transplant: "I've got to wait for the call and then I've got to go within half an hour to have the transplant, so I'm always on edge. It's really hard. It's effecting relationships with people. Me and my mum are much closer now but we're always worried, scared to be too far apart from each other in case we get the call."
Jess fears her dream of being a dancer is over because she now gets out of breath just walking upstairs.
Among the theories doctors are working on is that bacteria got into her system when she had her ears pierced when she was fifteen or from her dental braces.
You can hear more of her incredible story here...
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