Magherafelt vice-principal Lisa Brown, who spent 200 days in ICU with severe heart problems, is nominated for charity award
Lisa Brown from Magherafelt was diagnosed at four-years-old with Shone’s Complex, a rare congenital heart disease consisting of multiple left heart obstructive defects. She had her first surgery when she was aged seven.
The 48-year-old woman has refused to let her condition hold her back and established a successful career as vice-principal of Kilronan School in Magherafelt while running an accessories shop in the town for a time.
But her life was often interrupted with spells in hospital for major surgery due to her heart condition. It was Lisa’s last major surgery in 2018, to replace a faulty aortic valve that unfortunately left her fighting for her life.
She spent more than six months in intensive care and now lives with severe heart failure.
Although she is now dialysis dependent four times a week and is physically still recuperating, Lisa does what she can for the charity British Heart Foundation NI (BHFNI) from home. She owns an online accessories business Brown Bag Boutique and 10 per cent of every purchase goes to the charity. She also recently held a birthday fundraiser for BHF NI and in total has raised almost £3000.
Lisa has been nominated in the Innovative Fundraiser category for this year’s BHF Heart Hero Awards 2021. This is a new category introduced to acknowledge those who found creative ways of raising money during the pandemic.
She said: “I’m very proud to be nominated and to play my heart in raising money for heart research.”
“The heart condition is very limiting. Life has changed a lot for me. I loved going for long walks around the coast but I can’t do that now. I tire very easily and I suppose in a way I’m grieving for things I used to be able to do like the big long walks and cycling, but I’m very grateful for the things I can do.
“But I want to look forward and I know the BHF’s research has helped me in the past and I hope that by raising funds it will help me in the future. .”
To place your vote for Lisa in the BHF Innovative Fundraiser and to find out more about the BHF Heart Hero Awards go to www.bhf.org.uk/heartheroes. Voting runs online until September 8, 2021. The winners will be revealed on World Heart Day, September 29.