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Senior Health Q3 2022

Mary found support living with hereditary amyloidosis

iStock / Getty Images Plus / demaerre

Mary McAnea (Dugan)

Amyloidosis Patient

My initial diagnosis didn’t happen overnight. Amyloidosis is often overlooked as signs and symptoms mimic other diseases.

I started with breathlessness, fatigue and a feeling of a weight on my chest. In 2010, I had a stent put in my artery. I returned to work on my usual medications and felt like a new woman. Five years after, I had pains all over.

I was in and out of hospital and experienced a heart attack. Three years later, after many procedures, I was diagnosed with Cardiac Amyloidosis. The mutation is known as Donegal Amy — with a 50% chance of passing the gene to our children.

The group is like my second family.

I was under the care of Professor Emer Joyce and her team. Dr Joyce ordered genetic testing and medications were changed.

Infusion medication started in March 2022 then home infusions in May. Recently, I was told I am stable with no side effects. The support after my diagnosis from ATTR: Amyloidosis all Ireland Support group was tremendous. The group is like my second family. With treatment available, early diagnosis is the answer. With the infusions, I have already noticed a difference in my quality of life. Hopefully, it will be a game-changer for the future.

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