South Shields student who underwent heart surgery twice during A-levels achieves university place
A South Shields student who underwent heart surgery twice while studying for her A-levels has overcome her health battle to achieve a place at university.
Lydia Hart was diagnosed with a heart condition called Wolff-Parkinson-White in June 2019 after fainting during her prom dress fitting.
But it wasn’t until she saw a specialist at the Freeman Hospital, in Newcastle, that she realised something was wrong.
After undergoing an ECG and stress test, doctors confirmed Lydia’s diagnosis and the brave teenager was booked in for keyhole surgery to regulate her heart’s rhythm on October 17, 2019.
“I was getting my prom dress fitted when I fainted out of the blue, but before that I hadn’t really had any signs of it,” Lydia said.
"When I went to the specialist he said that some people get used to it and think it is normal, so they don’t think anything of it and don’t get checked out for it – or realise that it is happening – unless the palpitations are really severe.”
Unfortunately Lydia’s surgery was unsuccessful and the teenager underwent the procedure for a second time in November 2020.
She said: “It was quite difficult. I stayed after school most nights and asked my teachers for extra support but I also missed loads of time off with Covid.
"I also had Covid and then went back to school for two days before having to isolate again for my surgery.
"I had to do online lessons as much as I could. The teachers have been very understanding.”
Thankfully, Lydia’s second surgery is showing signs that it was successful and on Tuesday, August 10, it was a double celebration after she managed to achieve three A-levels to take up a place at Leeds Beckett University.
She achieved a C in business and two Ds in geography and economics and will now study marketing with advertising management at university.
Lydia added: “I am a lot better. I am still waiting to see if this surgery has worked fully, but the last check up I had was clear.
"Things are looking a lot more positive.”