Uddingston woman Sarah Crawford celebrated her 30th birthday last year, a birthday she though she might never see.
Sarah was diagnosed with an extremely rare heart condition last spring and in July underwent open heart surgery at the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank.
She said: “I had a Myocardial Fibroma – a large benign tumour, about the size of an orange, in the wall of my heart.
“I was informed that this mostly occurs in children and young people and that if it was not removed, I was at risk of sudden death,”
Initially unsure if it would be safe to remove the tumour, consultants at the Golden Jubilee contacted experts around the world and were advised by the Mayo Clinic in America that they’d had some success in removing tumours of this type.
Consultant cardiothoracic surgeon Kenneth MacArthur said: “Sarah was already suffering symptoms as a result of this extremely rare condition, to the extent that she was almost experiencing heart failure due to obstruction to the left ventricle.
“In 20 years performing cardiac surgery, I have never seen a tumour as large as Sarah’s in a case like this.
“In years gone by, this operation would not even have been attempted.
“However, due to the specialised expertise available to us at the Golden Jubilee and the advances which have been made in Ventricular Assist Devices (mechanical hearts) and transplant procedures, it was decided that we were willing to attempt to remove the Fibroma.”
Sarah, who works as a lawyer, underwent successful open heart surgery on 22 July 2013, and has gone on to make a remarkable recovery.
She said: “At one point it seemed like I might not see this birthday, so it was a very special one, my father Rudy is a consultant at Glasgow Royal Infirmary and even he had never come across Myocardial Fibroma.
“However, the care I received was outstanding, and I am so grateful for the skill and expertise of the doctors and staff at the hospital, and having been off work since April I am hoping to return soon.
“My parents decided to not only make a personal donation to the hospital, but requested money in lieu of gifts for their ruby wedding anniversary, managing to raise £2,000.”