Patient Voices #BreathlessNotVoiceless

Alex Walker

“I decided I wasn’t going home until someone had told me what was going on with my body”

Alex Walker from Leicester struggled with undiagnosed PH symptoms for three years.

“I was finally diagnosed with PH in August 2011. I say finally as my symptoms started way back in January 2008.  I had been complaining to my local doctor at the time of swelling, breathlessness, pressure behind my eyes and passing out every time I went up the stairs at home. The doctor had told me that he believed I was suffering with anxiety and panic attacks and that I should slow myself down and look into breathing techniques – and that maybe yoga would help!

This went on for a number of years and I had got used to the fact that I just had to take my time. Having an 18-month old little boy also made me think that maybe I was just exhausted. So trying to eat right, be organised and get early nights is what I did.

In 2011 my partner Ben, son Finnley and myself moved into a new house. I literally couldn’t do anything by this time without feeling breathless, dizzy and basically just wanting to sleep. Every bone in my body ached, I had a cough that used to make me sick, I seemed to have put on a lot of weight and my back was so painful too.

One Sunday morning we woke up and I felt so poorly Ben told me enough was enough and he took me to our local A&E department. From there I decided I wasn’t going home until someone had told me what was going on with my body.

I was eventually transferred to the Royal Hallamshire Hospital where my diagnosis was confirmed.”