A YOUNG man whose heart beat 200 times a minute is supporting a crowdfunding campaign to buy equipment so that others with the same condition can be treated at Basingstoke hospital.

Daniel suffered with heart palpitations from age 14, which prevented him from doing things he enjoyed such as physical exercise, for fear of triggering dangerous palpitations.

In his 20s, the palpitations turned into atrial fibrillation which causes the heart to murmur, and it was decided he needed surgery.

Daniel had the surgery at Southampton hospital a year ago, and said it has changed his life, and is now able to do everything he couldn’t do before.

However, he said the drive back home from the hospital was a struggle, explaining: “It would have been much more convenient if the surgery was available in Basingstoke. It’s a very long drive from where I live, it took an hour to get there and of course when we left to drive back the drive felt much longer especially after the operation where I couldn’t quite sit up properly and I was still medicated and we had to drive very slowly. It was very painful and very uncomfortable.”

The 24-year-old is now throwing his support behind a crowdfunding appeal to raise the money needed to buy equipment to perform a catheter ablation at Basingstoke hospital, so those with the same condition can have surgery there rather than travelling to Southampton.

Alison, from Basingstoke, also shared her emotional story to support the campaign, explaining how the surgery changed her life.

The 50-year-old said she was able to exercise for the first time in seven years following the operation, adding: “I’ve got my life back… I can’t tell you how much it has changed my life.”

The campaign called Have a Heart and Help a Heart has been launched by The Rotary Club of Basingstoke Deane to help treat patients with atrial fibrillation, which affects more than three per cent of the UK population.

Since the pandemic, those with the condition in Basingstoke now also face more than a six month wait to have the surgery, something which could be reduced if it could be carried out at Basingstoke.

Alfred McCarthy, president of Basingstoke Deane Rotary Club, also suffers from the condition, and had to travel to Southampton for treatment.

The 68-year-old grandfather-of-one from Hatch Warren said: “It’s not just something that affects old people, there are young people with the condition too. Our target is to raise £30,000, we have already raised over £15,000 from our own fundraising efforts.”

The equipment called cardiac electrical signal recording apparatus costs around £60,000, and the NHS has agreed to match-fund the £30,000 raised by the rotary club so it only needs to raise half the funds.

Alf added: “Many AF patients in this region travel 60 miles or more for treatment. You can help them get treatment closer to home at this terrible time in their lives. Whilst it is more common in older men it can affect any member of your family at any age. Just think how you and your family would cope.”

To support the campaign visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/a-healthier-hampshire-in-a-heartbeat