Manchester City star Nedum Onuoha backs charity campaign by Didsbury mum who survived four heart operations

A mother who was diagnosed with life-threatening heart problems after collapsing at work has been dubbed a ‘walking miracle’ by doctors.

Mum-of-three Hhope Michelle White, who is known by her middle name, had to undergo FOUR major heart operations after being diagnosed with a timebomb illness.

The 34-year-old civil servant amazed doctors at Manchester Royal Infirmary after battling through open heart surgery.

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The Didsbury mum’s incredible courage has now inspired her friends and family to raise cash for others affected by heart illness. Michelle’s problems began when she collapsed at Manchester Airport, where she was employed as a Home Office case worker, in summer 2003.

HAPPY FAMILY: Michelle White with children, from left, Chelle, Josiah and DeniroHAPPY FAMILY: Michelle White with children, from left, Chelle, Josiah and Deniro

Doctors discovered she had heart failure, a leaky heart valve and other problems.

During the first operation, Michelle’s lung collapsed and she was critically ill for 24 hours.

Within a year she was back in hospital where the operation was repeated, but again she suffered blackouts.

After the birth of her third child three years ago, Michelle was diagnosed with endocarditis, where the inner lining of the heart becomes inflamed, and she spent nine weeks in hospital and needed two more operations.

During her ordeal, Michelle has been supported by family and friends, including Manchester City star Nedum Onuoha. She is now organising the Hhope Valentine’s Charity Ball to raise cash for the British Heart Foundation – supported by her children Deniro, 14, Chelle, 10, and three-year-old Josiah.

Describing her illness, Michelle said: “At 26, this was life-changing for me. I needed to get used to the idea and then I wanted to turn things around and raise awareness. Nobody believes what I have been through as people think I am fine. Even I was in denial.

“Hearing my diagnosis brought it all home to me. From a teenager, I had suffered with chest pains, tiredness, palpitations, shortness of breath and frequent blackouts but I always just put it down to stress.”

Michelle and Nedum have been close pals for years – and she described him as her ‘rock’.

He is donating football memorabilia to be auctioned, as well as making a substantial donation to the charity.

The Blues defender said: “It has been a really tough time for Michelle and she has been through so much yet she has come out of it the other side and is determined to help other people who have heart conditions.

“She is really inspirational and I hope that people will come along and support the ball.

“The British Heart Foundation is a really important cause and I want to do anything that will help make steps forward in helping people whose lives are affected by heart problems. It might only be a little step but it is a step closer to where everyone wants to be.”

The ball will be held on Saturday, February 18, at the Radisson Blu at Manchester Airport. Tickets cost £47.50 and include a three-course meal and entertainment. Tickets are available from Shirley McNally on 0161 288 7355.

(Source: Alice McKeegan for http://menmedia.co.uk)

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