Case studies

Main content

We at Heart Research UK have been helping hearts by funding important research that is making a difference to the lives of those with heart problems.

It has helped people like five-year-old Imogen Tankard who had life-saving open heart surgery when she was just six months old to correct a rare heart condition.  Imogen's mother, Vicky, strongly believes that research into new techniques over the years, funded by charities like Heart Research UK, have made the important advances in heart surgery that saved her daughter's life.

“We can’t thank research enough because it has saved Imogen’s life,” said Vicky.  “I think it is amazing what they can do in heart surgery nowadays."

Schoolteacher Kim Botham was born with a combination of serious heart problems which put her life at risk.  She had a number of operations as a child to correct the abnormalities and give her the chance of a normal life.  Kim, who is now 27, and teaching primary school children in Rotherham, believes that without the research that enabled doctors to treat the heart condition she and many others were born with, she wouldn't be alive today.

“At the end of the day if I had been born 10 years earlier I would probably not be here today,” said Kim.  “People trying things out and attempting things is the only reason I am here today."

Mum of three Elizabeth Pollard from Burnley took part with her family in one of our SUBWAY® Helping Hearts Family 5K events - just four months after she had open heart surgery to correct a heart condition she'd had since birth. Elizabeth also believes that without research into heart disease she would still be living with her condition.  

Elizabeth, 31, said: “I was lucky enough to be operated on by fantastic surgeons who carried out complex procedures with amazing skill. It’s thanks to research into the heart that these operations and procedures can be completed."