When new bride Reena Patalay vowed to love her arranged marriage husband with all her heart little did she realise what disaster was looming.
For though the marriage was a resounding success, Reena’s heart was a total failure.
For just 18 months after the wedding, when her baby son was six months old, she was struck with a virus which destroyed 85 per cent of that very organ.
Today, thanks to a heart transplant at Harefield Hospital, 32-year-old Reena, pictured right, is dancing with joy – literally.
Said husband Avinash: “One the first questions I asked Reena when we met to be married was whether she had any hobbies.
“She said her passion was dancing. She loved to dance Bollywood freestyle.”
Avinash barely had time to enjoy his new wife’s dancing before she became ill, complaining of breathlessness at their Great Holm home.
Initially diagnosing flu, it took doctors several weeks to realise she had Viral Myocardities.
Medication kept her flagging heart beating for the next four years until, in February 2010, the couple agreed with doctors that a transplant was the only hope.
Just three weeks after being placed on the transplant list, Reena received a call at 3am to say a matching donor heart had been found.
“After the surgery she was weak and tired. But as days went by she looked glowing and radiant. She was like the bride I married,” said Avinash.
Exactly a year on Reena is overwhelmed with gratitude to the Harefield doctors and the family of her anonymous donor.
She is planning to express her thanks in the way she knows best – by dancing.
She will be the Bollywood star in Heartswitch 2011, a concert to raise awareness for the donor scheme and cash for Harefield in Friars Square, Aylesbury all day Saturday. People can donate via www.justgiving.com/Reena-Patalay.