About Hearty Tales

Hearty Tales was launched in December 2019 as a space to share my research into written representations of chronic heart disease, as well as my own experiences of living with heart failure. As the blog develops, I’m hoping I’ll be able to share other hearties’ experiences here too, in their own words, to build up a repository of stories of the lived experience of chronic heart disease, raising awareness of this family of conditions that is so often culturally overlooked. In the meantime, I’ll be aiming to keep you up to date with what I’m reading and thinking in relation to heart disease and writing, and I’m hoping lots of you will want to engage via comments!

About Laura Donald

Here’s the face behind the heart behind the blog. Hello! I’m Laura and I’m a first-year PhD student at the University of Glasgow, researching written representations of chronic heart disease from 1980 to the present. I have been living with heart failure since I was unexpectedly diagnosed in 2011. Coming to terms with that diagnosis would have been a lot easier if I had seen heart failure represented as anything other than tragedy or certain death. When I learned that heart failure was often a chronic condition and that there were almost a million people in the UK alone currently living with heart failure, I couldn’t help wondering – where are our stories?! That’s when I decided to put my literary training to good use, investigating those written representations of chronic heart conditions that did exist and encouraging the creation of many more. I want to raise awareness of chronic heart disease by sharing stories that reflect our many and varied lived experiences, including my own.

About My Funders

My PhD is funded by the Wellcome Trust, a politically and financially independent foundation, through their Doctoral Studentship scheme. “Wellcome exists to improve health by helping great ideas to thrive.” You can read more about Wellcome here.

“Around twice as many people are living with heart and circulatory diseases than with cancer and Alzheimer’s disease combined.”

British Heart Foundation

“We know how important it is for patients to […] share experiences, knowledge, feelings and emotions, the negatives and positives of heart failure, and yes there are positives.”

Pumping Marvellous

“It can be worrying and confusing to be diagnosed with a heart condition, but there’s a lot of information and support available to you. Sometimes understanding what is happening can help you worry less.”

NHS Inform