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Brave Caroline won’t let condition stop her
Sam Burbridge, Elaine Earnshaw, Sean Murray, Yvonne Earnshaw, Tina Merriless, Sandy McCracken and Joy Porterhouse get ready to push Caroline Earnshaw, who has a rare genetic heart disease, around the pubs of Bicester in a hospital bed to raise money for H
CAROLINE Earnshaw has spent her whole life knowing she has a ticking genetic timebomb that could kill her at any moment.
Miss Earnshaw’s condition – which killed her mother Lesley and brother Sean at the age of 14 – has also been inherited by her seven-year-old daughter Keira.
It is so rare the four are among only 100 across the world ever diagnosed with the condition, known as Danon disease.
Miss Earnshaw, 27, is now recovering from a heart transplant that was her only chance of survival.
It is likely her daughter will have to have the same operation in the future.
Miss Earnshaw said: “It has always been in the back of my mind.
“But I am quite a strong person and I think that helped.
“Because Keira has got it I am more worried about her. “People said to me ‘Why have a child if you know it’s going to have this condition?’ but there was a 50/50 chance she would have it.”
Miss Earnshaw was four when she was diagnosed with Danon disease and cardiomyopathy – heart muscle disease.
As she grew older she often became tired or breathless, or suffered dizzyness and palpitations. At one stage she couldn’t walk because she was so breathless.
She was put on the emergency transplant waiting list and confined to hospital until an organ became available.
During a three-month wait at London’s Harefield Hospital her hopes were raised and then dashed four times, until the perfect match was found in April. She went under the knife for a risky 10-hour operation.
Miss Earnshaw spent 10 days in intensive care and had to go back for surgery after complications with blood clots.
She is now recovering well at her home in Pembroke Way, Bicester, and has been fundraising for a garden for patients on the transplant ward.
On Saturday the White Horse Pub, in Churchill Road, hosted an all-you-can-eat contest, bike, pool and darts competitions, and a mock hospital bed was pushed around pubs in Bicester collecting cash.
So far £823 has been raised.
Miss Earnshaw said: “I would say (the operation) was the worst thing I ever had to go through, but also the best because they said without the transplant I would not be here.
“I believed I was going to die; I had to leave my daughter with family thinking that I may not see her again.”
Miss Earnshaw’s brother Paul, landlord of the White Horse, said: “We knew she was going downhill and if I’m honest I never thought we would get to this day.”
To donate view justgiving.com/ TheWhiteHorse