Corby photographer captures heartfelt moments to reach final of national competition

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Corby photographer Ariana Bryant saw her work reach the final stage of a national photography competition called ‘Patient Portraits: A New You’ at the Houses of Parliament.

The competition, run by the charity Heart Valve Voice in partnership with The Royal Photographic Society, aims to raise awareness of heart valve disease - said to be a growing health concern in the UK.

The finalists were paired with a patient to create a series of photographs capturing heartfelt moments for patients who have been treated for heart valve disease - a serious condition affecting 1.5 million people over 65 in the UK.

Ariana said: “I’m delighted to have reached the finals of the National Photography Competition.

“It was a remarkable experience to use my passion for photography for a good cause. I’m grateful to Amanda Fairchild for allowing me into her life to photograph her undertaking her daily activities, such as swimming and writing. She is extremely motivated, active and genuinely funny. The time we spent together showed me the positive difference that receiving heart valve treatment can make.”

The event at the Houses of Parliament was held on October 10 and attended by Parliamentarians including heart valve disease survivor Steve McCabe MP, competition photographers and heart valve disease patients.

Eric Etchart, representing the South East, was announced as the overall winner of the national competition.

Wil Woan, CEO of Heart Voice, said: “Being successfully treated for heart valve disease allows patients to return to a good quality of life. It is vital that people are better educated on the condition.”

Symptoms of heart valve disease include breathlessness, chest pains, tiredness and feeling older than ones age.

Many patients with heart valve disease put their symptoms down to the natural ageing process, or do not suffer severe or visible symptoms, making diagnosis difficult.

Detection for heart valve disease usually begins with a stethoscope exam. A doctor can simply and easily use a stethoscope to listen for a characteristic heart ‘murmur’ which is usually the first indication of a problem with the heart valves.

The primary treatment is heart valve replacement or repair, either via open-heart surgery, minimally invasive keyhole surgery or a procedure called Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI).

To view Ariana’s photographs and the other submissions for Patient Portraits: A New You, visit www.heartvalvevoice.com/photo-competition.