Paisley writer releases poetry collection inspired by her heart condition

A Paisley writer is releasing a book of poems inspired by the discovery she had a hidden and potentially deadly heart condition.

Tracy Patrick collapsed in Paisley’s West End after suffering a cardiac arrest in late 2014.

She was helped by passers-by and taken by ambulance to the Royal Alexandra Hospital.

Medics there discovered she had cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle that makes it harder for the heart to pump blood to the rest of the body.

Tracy, 49, realized her dad and brother all had the condition as they’d passed away relatively young from heart attacks.

Tracy has since made a full recovery with a defibrillator now fitted to her heart to restart it if it stops.

And she’s now getting ready to release her next book, a collection of poetry inspired by what happened to her, called Portrait.

Tracy said: “I’ve been writing poetry for a while.

“I’ve had a novel published but when I started writing it was always poetry.

“All the poems in this collection are about processing illness, struggling to adapt to new physical limitations, the fear of more illness.

“It all sounds very dark but there is a lot of humor in there as well.

“It’s a way of expressing it.

“I’ve written these poems over a few years. I didn’t intend to write anything about that then I realized I had a group of poems on the same theme.”

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Tracy’s 2019 novel Blushing is for Sinners, was commended by the Saltire First Book of the Year judges and she’s also written a play, My Body, My Business, about human trafficking.

She’s adjusted to life with cardiomyopathy now and considers herself lucky to know she has the disease.

“I’ve had a couple of cardiac arrests since then but my defib works and does its job and helps me survive,” she said.

“I definitely feel lucky. At the time I had no idea of ​​it.

“My father died when he was just 35, my brother too.

“If you look back at my family history so many people died of cardiac arrest and we had no idea.

“When I was diagnosed other people in my family were tested but they don’t have it.

“I didn’t set out to do something to raise awareness of cardiomyopathy, that’s been purely coincidental.

“I want to share my experience and my stories.”

The launch of Portrait is taking place in Paisley Central Library on Thursday, May 12 from 7pm till 8.30pm.

Fellow poet Graham Fulton will be reading alongside Tracy.

Tracy is hoping to raise money for the charity Cardiomyopathy UK at the event, which is free to attend.

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