Lincolnshire mum of four battling a fainting disorder to help charity
A Lincolnshire mum of four, who could faint at any moment thanks to a 30 year heart disorder, has taken up a year-long challenge to raise money for charity.
Gini Dellow, from Grantham, is writing a poem each day to raise funds for the fainting disorder charity STARS.
The 46-year-old struggled with her illness for 30 years before she was diagnosed with two autonomic disorders – which mean she often blacks out or feels dizzy.
“I used to pass out in school assemblies,” she said.
“It was a nightmare trying to get a diagnosis.
“In school, I was told I was attention seeking and then when I got married and had children I was told it was post natal depression.
“When you don’t get the support, people buy into it and start labelling you.”
In 2009, eventually doctors worked out she had been struggling with autonomic dysfunction and PoTS (postural tachycardia syndrome).
People with PoTs can faint because their heart rate isn't controlled properly by their brain, and can speed up when they are standing upright.
She continued: “During a stay in hospital I passed out and fell down the stairs and the next thing I knew I was in intensive care being monitored for a very slow heart rate.
“I then remained in hospital for a month and was fitted with a pacemaker to treat my slow heart rhythm.
“It was only after this that I was accurately diagnosed.
“The impact of these conditions has left me unable to do the things that I used to without a second glance.
"However, new avenues have opened up and through my limited lifestyle I have rediscovered my love of writing.”
Ms Dellow is now writing a poem a day for an entire year to raise money for STARS, which helped her with her illness.
Her poetry blog can be found on www.ginzandtonic.com.