‘FIGHTING FIT’ THANKS TO MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES
Anita Tucker was 31 with a one-year-old baby when medical technology flagged that she needed a pacemaker. A few years later, med tech came to her aid again, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Now 46, Anita has not only been a Zumba instructor, a gym goer and a Nordic walker. She is ‘fighting fit’, with a black belt in jujitsu!
Anita’s journey started with a visit to the doctor. She had been experiencing headaches and dizziness and had fainted and had occasional palpitations. “These symptoms had gone on for 12 months,” she tells This Is MedTech.
Anita had some tests to investigate the cause, including a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan to look inside the heart and an electrocardiogram (ECG) to check its rhythm, rate and electrical activity. Then, when she was undergoing a Holter monitor test – a 24-hour ECG to measure and record her heartbeat as she was going about her daily activities – Anita fainted again and was admitted to hospital.
“The Holter test report showed that my heart had stopped,” Anita recalls. “I was incredibly anxious in case it stopped again. I was nervous about being alone with my baby daughter – I felt like I was on the edge constantly.” But Anita was fitted with a pacemaker five weeks later – a small electrical device implanted in the chest that would send electrical pulses to Anita’s heart if it detected a problem. “I gained confidence after the pacemaker was implanted,” Anita recalls. “I felt a lot more confident and relaxed.”
Anita’s life was touched by medical technology once again a few years later when MRI and computerised tomography (CT) scans helped diagnose breast cancer, and radiotherapy formed part of her treatment plan. Happily, Anita was given the all-clear in 2011 and will have annual mammograms to monitor her until she is 50.
Anita has not let anything hold her back since her pacemaker was fitted, firstly qualifying as a Zumba instructor and then switching to the gym and Nordic walking after her breast cancer treatment. More recently, she has stepped it up again, gaining her black belt in jujitsu.
Anita says that med tech has enabled her to watch her daughter grow up. “I feel a lot more positive about life now,” she says.