A silver lining if ever there was one, Coronation Street star Alexandra Mardell has revealed how she discovered she has a hole in her heart after her father's passing. In 2016 the actress – who is best known as barmaid Emma Brooker on the ITV soap – announced the sad news that her father had passed away suddenly after suffering a heart attack, but it wasn't until after his death that Alexandra and her family discovered that it was caused by undiagnosed cardiomyopathy, which is a heart condition that stiffens the muscle walls and affects the way the heart pumps blood around the body.
Because the disease can be hereditary, Alexandra and her siblings were advised to get tested for the gene, and although she was told that the gene was not present, Alexandra wasn't given the all-clear. In fact, doctors told her that she had a hole in her heart.
Alexandra and her dad were very close
The 26-year-old actress told The Mirror: "It’s not related to the cardiomyopathy whatsoever – it’s a total coincidence but obviously an issue I need to keep an eye on. I’ve been told that everyone is born with it and it’s meant to close up within the first year. In some cases, like mine, it doesn’t and that can cause problems. I sometimes get palpitations. I have always had issues with my breathing when exercising, but I always thought that was just my general lack of fitness."
She often shares sweet photographs of her late father
Ever the optimist, Alexandra continued: "If there are issues in the future it’s something they are able to close up."
Speaking about her father, Alexandra also told The Mirror: "Dad would have been very proud of me. He was always telling his friends how I was going to be a star. He loved Coronation Street and I don’t even know how he would have handled me getting a job on the show."
He certainly would have been proud of you, Alexandra!
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