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Personal Stories: 'My dad's experience inspired me to run'

Emma Tennant from Larne is promoting a healthy heart message after her father Mervyn's life-saving surgery in June.

The mother-of-two from the Co Antrim town is running the Subway Helping Hearts Family 5K at Ormeau Park, in Belfast on September 7.

Emma's father, Mervyn, fell ill during Christmas 2013 with what doctors were convinced was a chest infection.

It was not until the following March, when his symptoms persisted that further tests discovered Mervyn was in fact suffering from the heart problem – aortic stenosis.

After being admitted to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, the severity of Mervyn's condition became clear and the decision was made that a heart transplant was the only option.

Undergoing surgery for an aortic valve replacement on June 3, Mervyn was kept in hospital for 12 weeks before being allowed to continue his recovery at home.

Emma will be taking part in the run alongside her sons Callum (9) and seven-year-old Lewis.

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She hopes that taking part in the event will help to raise much-needed awareness and funds for Heart Research UK.

Emma said: "With everything that has happened this year in particular, it has made me more heart aware and I would like to ensure that I look after my heart to the best of my ability."

You can follow Heart Research UK on Twitter @heartresearchuk or Heart Research UK on Facebook

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