Photographer Lisa Casado, from Earlsfield received the ‘Inspiring Image’ award at the final of the national photography competition Patient Portraits: A New You.

The event was held at the Houses of Parliament on October 10, where all the submissions were exhibited. The competition is run by the UKs heart valve disease charity, Heart Valve Voice. They ran it in partnership with The Royal Photographic Society.

All finalists were paired with a local patient to create a series of photographs depicting precious heartfelt moments for patients who have been treated for heart valve disease which affects 1.5 million over 65s in the UK.

“I’m honoured to have won the ‘Inspiring Image’ award at the National Photography Competition. It was a remarkable experience to use my passion for photography for a good cause,” said Lisa, “I’m grateful to Sue Jardine for allowing me to photograph her and the time we spent together gave me a glimpse of the realities of heart valve disease and the difference receiving treatment can make.”

Symptoms of heart valve disease include breathlessness, chest pains, tiredness and feeling older than ones age. Many patients with heart valve disease put their symptoms down to the natural ageing process, or do not suffer severe or visible symptoms, making diagnosis difficult. Detection for heart valve disease usually begins with a stethoscope exam.

A doctor can simply and easily use a stethoscope to listen for a characteristic heart ‘murmur’ which is usually the first indication of a problem with the heart valves. The primary treatment is heart valve replacement or repair, either via open-heart surgery, minimally invasive keyhole surgery or a procedure called Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI).

“I am pleased to be part of the photography competition and glad that Lisa Casado was awarded ‘Inspiring Image’,” said Sue Jardine, “as a patient, I know the importance of raising awareness of heart valve disease and the photos of me taken by Lisa Casado show that there is life after heart valve disease and that I am able to enjoy what is important to me including spending time with my grandchildren, gardening and playing golf.

"This would not have been possible without my condition being caught in time therefore it is vital that people are aware and educated on heart valve disease, so they are able to receive the treatment they need.”