Discover our Heart Month Heroes in partnership with British Heart Foundation

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Heart Month Heroes: Christine’s story

Christine’s story is a testament to listening to your intuition. Thanks to LloydsDirect, managing her new medicines wasn’t a worry, and with support from British Heart Foundation, she is living her life to the fullest.

What started as a typical night in October 2015 soon transpired to change former Nursing Auxiliary, Christine Avey’s life forever.

She was watching TV while her son Stuart and husband Les were in bed, when she started to feel seriously unwell. Experiencing nausea, neck aches and sweating, she called her family to help.

‘I genuinely thought I just had a virus, but I’d never felt like that before. So we got ready to go to A&E, as a little voice was telling me to go,’ she shared.

Sixth sense and unusual warning-sign symptoms

Thanks to her intuition, and her family’s quick action, they arrived at the hospital in minutes. Tests revealed Christine had had a heart attack. Despite her time working for a cardiovascular hospital, in intensive care and as part of the adult surgical unit, Christine hadn’t recognised the signs in herself.

‘When they said I’d had a heart attack I said ‘oh have I?’ I was so blasé. But of course, then they were sticking blood thinners in me and all sorts – all hell broke loose.’ The realisation came as a shock but also a call to action. She was swiftly treated, a testament to the advances in heart care and the importance of acting on your instincts.

"When they said I’d had a heart attack I said ‘oh have I?’ I was so blasé"

Embracing change and embarking on a new journey

Following what happened that difficult night, Christine’s instincts (and support from her GP) set her on a new mission to better look after herself. ‘I started to go on a diet and lost about four stone,’ she reflects on her initial steps towards recovery. Her commitment didn't stop there; Christine's dedication saw her lose eight stone in total, a testament to her resolve and the support of healthcare initiatives like the NHS's referral to weight loss services.

‘It really got me into gear because I didn’t want to waste their precious resources, and I knew with their community support, I could do it.’

LloydsDirect’s role in Christine’s new life

As well as eating better and exercising more, Christine had another change to make to her lifestyle – taking medication for her heart condition.

Her discovery of LloydsDirect (Echo at the time) from an online search marked a turning point in managing her health. ‘I get reminders via the app that my medication is running low, and then I order, my GP checks it and LloydsDirect lets me know when it’s delivered – it’s as easy as that,’ Christine explains. ‘I can get it straight to my door or even to the Post Office, which is really handy. And you can change the address at any time – another really useful feature, too.’

This seamless service significantly reduced the burden of medication control, allowing her to focus on her wellbeing and living her life to the fullest.

‘I didn’t let my diagnosis ruin my life. And it’s not necessarily my condition that stops me doing things, it’s my body, as I get a bit older. Although I do say age is just a number!’

Christine’s words of wisdom

Christine was also keen to share some advice with others who have been given a similar diagnosis. Number one? Don’t be afraid.

‘And do as you’re told, too! Take your medication, it’s there for a reason. And most importantly, live your life.’

"Do as you’re told, too! Take your medication, it’s there for a reason. And most importantly, live your life."

Supporting British Heart Foundation

Christine’s incredible story highlights the importance of supporting heart health research, and organisations like British Heart Foundation.

‘When I had my first heart attack, and the second episode, I thought ‘wow, without research, I may not have gotten better,’ she shared. And Christine makes sure to visit their charity shops when out and about, too!

Her story is a true call to action for us all to advocate for our health, listen to our intuition, support vital research and embrace services like LloydsDirect to make our health journeys more manageable and hopeful.

A heart attack is a medical emergency, and you should call 999 for an ambulance immediately. It happens when there’s a sudden loss of blood flow to a part of the heart muscle. Without enough blood and oxygen your heart can be seriously damaged.

In the UK around 100,000 hospital admissions each year are due to heart attacks: that's 290 admissions each day or one every five minutes.