Andrew Jones had a problem which began in 2012, when he discovered how difficult breathing was during a run.
Fast forward to 2014 and it became worse for Andrew when he coughed up blood and developed a high fever. When he was taken to the hospital, he was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy.
Cardiomyopathy is a combination of conditions that cause the heart to stop functioning properly. It either affects the shape of the heart or the size and thickness of the muscle walls.
This led to Andrew getting weak and being unable to do basic things like standing, walking or even dressing up.
At that point, Andrew’s life became bleak as doctors stated that his life was hinged on a heart transplant.
Thinking about the state he was subjected to due to cardiomyopathy, Andrew Jones said to Daily Mail:
It’s something I would never want to wish upon my worst enemy. You can’t breathe, you can’t think, you don’t eat and you don’t sleep. Living with this disease put me in a pattern with depression and physical pain. I had to stop working because I wouldn’t be able to stand for more than 10 minutes. I dreaded going to the kitchen because that meant that I had to go up and down my stairs. I couldn’t even get dressed without panting and gasping for air – my life was falling apart and I just wanted relief.’
With donors being unavailable, Andrew got a pacemaker and an artificial heart instead, which he carries in his backpack.
He often gets asked why he always carries a backpack. Andrew who isn’t ashamed of his condition tells them, to their amazement seeing as he appears so fit.
The bodybuilder continues to train under medical advice without putting himself at risk.
‘I do everything I can without compromising my health and the security of my devices.’
Andrew says sometimes after gyming, he becomes overwhelmed with emotion at the thought of being alive and breaks down in tears.
The 26-year-old says he is thankful for having been given a chance at life considering there are others who were considered unfit for a transplant. He launched Hearts at Large to raise awareness for organ donations.