An accredited run coach and baton relay runner in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, she has spoken about her own experience with heart disease and being told she would never run again.
AN accredited run coach, baton relay runner in the 2018 Commonwealth Games and Padstow Heights mother, Rachel Allworth, was in an exercise class in March when she started having trouble breathing.
The 45-year-old ultra-marathon runner was in peak fitness and put it down to the stress surrounding Covid-19 which had just hit Australia and our supermarket shelves.
“A couple of days later I started vomiting and looked grey so my husband Michael called an ambulance and I spent the next 10 days in hospital finding out whey my normal ‘fit’ heart rate of about 50 beats per minute was stuck on 266 bpm,” Rachel said.
Since then she has been diagnosed with a type of cardiomyopathy, has had a defibrillator inserted into her chest and has unfortunately been told she will never run again.
Rachel suffers from Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC), a disease of the heart muscle where fatty fibrous tissue replaces normal heart muscle. This interrupts the regular electrical signals in the heart causing irregular and potentially life-threatening heart rhythms.
“They have said it’s genetic so we are doing tracing now as we have sons Nash, 14, and Zane, 13, but I feel fine,” she said.
“I am back to walking and pilates as well as coaching runners but I can’t stress enough that if you feel anything different such as dizziness, see your GP immediately; it can happen to anyone and the surgeons told me I only had about 10 minutes to live when I arrived at hospital but I’m thankful we got there in time.”
Sadly, heart disease is the single biggest cause of Australian deaths.
This coming February for ‘REDFEB’, Heart Research Australia is inviting residents to wear ‘red’ for someone close to their heart to help keep families together for longer.
For more info or to make a donation, go to heartresearch.com.au/wrd/.