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Digital Subscriptions > Women’s Running > Sep-17 > ”I RAN MY FIRST MARATHON AFTER HAVING OPEN-HEART SURGERY”


Anna Borghesani pushed through the psychological and physical trauma of serious surgery to take on her running dream


When I was born, the doctors immediately realised something was very wrong as I couldn’t cry,” says Anna Borghesani, 41, a scientist and fitness instructor from Ipswich. “They told my parents I wouldn’t survive as I’d been born with congenital heart disease, in my case pulmonary stenosis, which is a narrowing of a heart valve. I had other ideas, however. I had surgery to widen the valve when I was just three years old. As a small child I was weak, but because I had surgery so young, I was able to lead an almost normal life.

“In 2013, when I was 37, I started to feel very, very tired and I was getting sick all the time. I frequently had colds, high fevers and palpitations and kept feeling breathless. I’d always known I’d need to have a new heart valve fitted and, when my cardiologist finally told me I had a surgery date, I felt relieved.

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About Women’s Running

Get fit quick with the September issue of Women’s Running, on sale now! We’ll help you find focus in your running with our four-week plans for mini running goals, from smashing out a parkrun PB to shifting a few pounds to trying your first triathlon. Bit pushed for time thanks to the kids? Our busy mums’ training guide will show you how to squeeze in a few runs - and we’ve got the lowdown on the best running buggies you can buy, too. Find out how to run well for life with our expert guide to running skills, and be inspired to try for a sub-three-hour marathon - our cover star Gemma Hockett believes anyone can do it! Find all this plus the usual advice, inspiration and kit reviews for trail and road.