Published by Cornwall Live on 20/01/2017
A former DJ with a rare terminal heart condition has spoken of her determination to make the most of life and help others facing similar devastating illnesses.
Kay Harvey, from Mullion, has suffered three heart attacks and two strokes over the past three years. She has more recently been diagnosed with a very rare heart condition and specialists have said they were yet to find a cure.
Despite this, she is unwavering in her efforts to raise money for those facing similar conditions and hopes to raise some much needed cash at a music festival in April in Helston for causes close to her heart.
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Mrs Harvey, who is in her forties, said: “I have deteriorated greatly since last year. My condition causes the arteries to explode meaning I’m more prone to heart attacks and strokes on a daily basis.
“Nothing at all can save me. I consider myself a smiley person but it’s getting harder to keep smiling. I’ve just got to stay strong.”
Mrs Harvey suffers from the rare condition called spontaneous coronary artery dissection (Scad). According to the British Heart Foundation, very little is known about Scad or why it occurs. The condition is unpreventable and the majority of sufferers are women.
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Mrs Harvey was hit with her first heart attack while out walking on the Lizard coast path in 2014. Unaware of what was happening, she said she felt tingling sensations in her arms, felt unwell and later collapsed after driving home. Formerly a local DJ, Mrs Harvey is now so sick she is unable to work.
“Having the condition at my age is incredibly rare,” she added. “I’m most scared of more strokes and losing my independence, because if I lose that, life isn’t worth living. My left arm and leg are now useless. My friends and family are devastated. Every day is a challenge. I am no longer able to work.”
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Despite all this, Mrs Harvey has organised a music festival and has promised an amazing line up from Irish rock and a Queen tribute to disco funk. Bands expected to feature include No Apologies, Not the Beatles and Three Minute Warning. The festival on April 2 at The Blue Anchor pub in Helston will be run from noon to 11pm. Tickets for the festival from noon to 11pm on April 2 at The Blue Anchor pub in Helston can be bought on the door for £5.
All proceeds will go to the cardiac unit at Royal Cornwall Hospital and The British Heart Foundation. The festival is the second event to be organised by Mrs Harvey, with the previous event in 2014 called Heart:Beats raising £2,500 in total.
Mrs Harvey added: “I believe it’s good to give something back so it’s not all take, take, take. Music is a big thing for me. A motto I try to stick by is ‘do what you can, grab what you can and just do things while you’ve got the chance’.”
“I’d like to thank everyone for their support and special mentions to Paul Turton for his help and to Simon Wilcocks for sponsoring the event. I hope it will be a fun day out for all the family.”
Can be found on the Cornwall Live website here