NHS to bring back the funding of Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) surgery

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My name is Shannon Christie. I’m a 22 year old woman who suffered an ischemic stroke on 19th April 2018. In the early hours of the morning whilst getting ready for work the right side of my face dropped, my right arm and leg became paralysed and as I tried to call out for help I lost the ability to talk with all that was able to come out being long slurring sounds which made no sense. 

After a long time in a&e, many test and many tears later I found out that the cause of my stroke was due to a hole in my heart, in which a blood clot has gone through, traveled to my brain causing the oxygen flow to my brain to stop and resulting in a stroke.

6 long worry months later I finally had an appointment with a heart consultant to talk about surgery to close the hole in my heart. On that day I felt it was the day I’d finally get my life back and be able to live with less worry and not have to live every day in constant fear! Of having another stroke! But whilst speaking to my consultant I got the devestating news that the surgery I need to massively reduce the risk of me having a recurring stroke (patent foramen ovale closure surgery) is NO LONGER funded by the NHS. This news absolutely broke me! 

It has been shown in current years with more testing and trials that there is a massive reduction in recurring strokes when the patient has received Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) closure surgery.

When I first had a stroke I was firstly sent away saying that I had a migraine as I was too young for a stroke, but due to family history of strokes my scans were double checked by a specialist which in fact confirmed that I had a stroke caused by a PFO. I decided to research into this and it amazed me how many younger strokes sufferers have been sent away after having a stroke just to be told they have had a migraine and then had a reacuring stroke within the next year in which they have then been told it was due to a PFO. PFO’s are the main cause of strokes in younger adults, so why are we not offering a surgery that will massively reduce this!!


I am am hoping by starting the petition that the government and the governments cheif of health will see this and change the funding on this so that PFO closures are to be provided on the NHS once again!

This is a matter that is happening every single day to thousands of people such as myself around the UK. We are having to live our life in constant fear of having another stroke that could potentially leave us further brain damaged, disabled or in worst case scenario, dead! All of this can be caused be a stroke and the chance of all of this can be massively reduced by a simple PFO closure surgery!

Please join me in signing this petition and please share this to help make a difference!



 -ITV News TV (around 14minutes in on anglia west): https://www.itv.com/news/anglia/2018-05-04/catch-up-watch-the-most-recent-itv-news-anglia/

 -Cambridge news:  https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/health/cambridgeshire-stroke-pfo-closure-nhs-15327652

 -Ely news: http://www.elystandard.co.uk/news/shannon-christie-stroke-willingham-1-5751480

-Business Telegraph: https://www.businesstelegraph.co.uk/devastation-as-woman-22-learns-the-nhs-will-not-pay-for-a-life-saving-operation/

 -Daily Mail: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6321009/Devastation-woman-22-learns-NHS-NOT-pay-life-saving-operation.html



Shannon Christie, Stroke Survivor.