Cookbook author and TV chef Sally Bee, who is best known for her appearances on Lorraine, has opened up about surviving five heart attacks. The mum-of-three has a rare condition, fibromuscular dysplasia, which means her blood vessels are narrower in some places and bulge in others. She suffered three major heart attacks in 2004, and last November, Sally survived a further two.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror, the 49-year-old described her most recent ordeal, saying: "I knew it was a heart attack the moment it started as I woke up and this feeling swept over me. People who have had one talk about a feeling of impending dread. And I knew something awful was going to happen. At first I tried to deny what was happening. I've always been a positive person, so I tried to tell myself it was just indigestion, or I was imagining it. Then the pain hit me as I got out of bed and I couldn't deny it any more. It started as a crushing chest pain, then radiated out until it was a million times worse than childbirth. Soon I was on the floor writhing in agony, waiting for the ambulance."
Sally Bee has suffered 5 heart attacks
After she suffered her first three heart attacks, doctors found that Sally's arteries in her brain, neck, heart and legs were all affected with the rare condition, meaning she is more prone to heart attacks and strokes. She says she is "living with a ticking time bomb" but remains remarkably positive. "Now I am in really good health again," Sally said. "There is no cure for what I have. Only one of the three main arteries around my heart is left intact and I know I could have another attack at any time. But I don't let myself wallow in self-pity."
The inspirational chef said she continues to eat healthily, making sure "there are plenty of vegetables on my plate" and said that walking is her "best exercise". Sally concluded: "And I still keep my journal. I've found that my default mood in the morning is less positive than it was before, so I take the first half hour of the day to get ready, think positively, then I'm set."