When the unimaginable happens the EIC are here to help. When Shane took his wife and two young daughters on holiday to Great Yarmouth he didn't expect to end up rushed to hospital with heart failure.

During half term in February last year, Shane and Emma took their daughters, Eva and Mya, to Great Yarmouth for a holiday. At the time, Shane had just started a new job with an electrical distributor but was made redundant shortly before his probation ended. The family had also been caring for Shane’s father who had been suffering with a terminal illness for 9 months.

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While in Great Yarmouth Shane became bedridden and too breathless to take part in any activities. Shane and Emma kept calling the doctor for his chest x-ray results as he was feeling more and more unwell. On day 5 of the holiday, Shane’s doctor rang to tell him that he had fluid on his lungs, and he should take it easy. He said Shane should go for a CT scan as soon as he got home from the holiday. Shane informed him that the breathlessness had worsened.

Just 24 hours later, Shane was struggling to breathe and at 4am that day, Emma called 999 and he was rushed to hospital in Great Yarmouth. Shane had Dilated Cardiomyopathy and was just minutes from having a heart attack, he was in severe heart failure and had developed 2 blood clots in his heart. He spent the first 48 hours in a critical condition and a further 5 days on an Acute Cardiac Unit. The doctors tried to find a cause for it, but their was no health or lifestyle issues. Doctor's suspected it may be genetic and this added worry that one or both of their daughters may have this condition too. As a final blow, Shane was due to start a new job within the sector a few days after their holiday, but given his heart condition and ever-changing medication at the time, he was unfit for work for the foreseeable future.

Shane was needing to attend hospital appointments most weeks, some of which could be up to 70 miles away, meaning having a car was essential. The family were able to cover the costs of their priority bills, such as rent, utility bills and tax but without Shane working full time, additional outgoings such as travel costs, hospital parking costs, school trips, school uniforms and shoes, vets’ bills and unexpected payments like car repairs were not accounted for. The family struggled to find the money for their weekly food shop.

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Although they would have preferred not to, they sold clothing, toys, electrical items and other things in order to afford their weekly bills. Financially they were sinking, and even though Shane has been advised by his heart failure nurse that he was unfit to return to work, the stress of their financial situation had tempted him back in to the workplace. It was at that point he and Emma got in touch with the EIC.

The EIC were able to support the family by providing financial advice on household debt and temporarily cover the cost of their weekly shop as well as the girls return to school for the new academic year until their benefits kicked in. The family were about to replace their carpets prior to Shane’s ill health, as theirs were old and worn out. Shane’s EIC Case Worker applied to another charity, League of the Helping Hand, who very kindly granted the funds to pay for a new carpet for the family which made their home a lot more comfortable, as they were spending a great deal of time at home now.

Shane’s health has now improved, and the family are now in a better financial position. Shane was offered a new job and they relocated to a new town and everything is looking up – Emma has a new job too and the girls love their new school. The EIC are so pleased to have been able to help this lovely family and we wish them all the best with their fresh start. If you are struggling with a heart condition or need help please contact the welfare team on 0800 652 1618 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Our confidential and free helpline is still open for you. You can contact our support team on 0800 652 1618 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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