Stevenage hospital worker to host Letchworth fundraiser to raise awareness of condition which threatens her mum’s life

Linda Heritage, who was told she had six months to live when she was diagnosed with pulmonary hypert

Linda Heritage, who was told she had six months to live when she was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertention in 2002. - Credit: Archant

A hospital worker is hosting a charity football match and fun day on Saturday to raise funds and awareness for a rare condition which constantly leaves her mum – who was told 10 years ago that she only had six months to live – short of breath.

Emma Tarling, who works as a emergency medical technician at Stevenage’s Lister Hospital, has organised a fundraising event at the Herts FA headquarters in Letchworth along with her husband Alan to spread the word about pulmonary hypertension.

The 28-year-old’s mum Linda Heritage was diagnosed with the heart and lung disorder in 2002 – which affected less than 100 people in the UK at that time.

“Mum was treated for asthma for 12 years before being diagnosed so a lot of people could be misdiagnosed,” said Emma, who moved to Letchworth in 2012 but grew up in the Purwell area of Hitchin where her 55-year-old mum still lives.

“They gave her six months to live, but she’s still with us, thank goodness. There’s no cure for it but there’s medication which helps.

“She’s short of breath all the time and her lips go blue very regularly.

“Mum had to give up work but she just wants to live for today and, as very little is known about the condition, we wanted to raise awareness with a family fun day.”

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Emma, a former student at Highfield School in Letchworth, called on a favour from the Herts FA – where husband Alan works – to host Saturday’s event, which takes place at the Baldock Road venue between 10am and 5pm.

Hitchin Town Community FC play ‘The Old Boys’ – made up of footballers aged from 19 to 46 who came forward via Facebook – at 1.30pm, and there will also be face painting, a bouncy castle, soft play, and refreshments.

A raffle – which includes prizes from Letchworth-based businesses Fitness Hub, Teamworks Karting and the Letchworth Par 3 Golf Centre – will take place at 4.30pm, with all proceeds from the day going to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association and men’s cancer charity Orchid.

Emma says she chose the UK chancer charity because it also flies under the radar and is keen to boost awareness of its work.

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