• Tess Dunn was diagnosed with heart defect aged 17
  • Cambridge student told to quit all sport as it could kill her
  • Claims that pole dancing is safe and has strengthened muscles around heart
  •  Set to star in campaign for British Heart Foundation in 2015

[Dailymail.co.uk | Aug 25, 2014]

A student battling a life-threatening heart condition has turned to pole-dancing in a bid to stay fighting fit.

Tess Dunn, 23, from Tiptree in Essex, was 17 when she collapsed with chest pain and was first diagnosed with a hole in her heart.

She was told that her heart was a ‘ticking time bomb’ and that she probably wouldn’t reach her 30th birthday.

Doctors also warned that sport was out of the question because any sudden movement could kill her, but Tess has found that pole dancing is one form of exercise she can practise because the activity involves controlled movements which do not shock her heart.

The Cambridge student claims that spinning around poles has actually strengthened the muscles around her heart and next year she is set to feature on billboards and posters across the UK as the face of the British Heart Foundation.

Tess said her new hobby helps her fight the serious health battle she is faced with every day.

She said: ‘I can’t run or jog or do most forms of exercise so I thought the best thing was for me to tone up.

‘So I looked on the internet and I found pole fitness looked like my best option.

‘It’s a great hobby for me and I love it, I realized it was right for me straight away.

‘I have to sit out if I get too breathless but I manage two hours a week and it’s great exercise.

‘I hope I can keep it up in the future. I may look healthy on the outside, but I fight a serious health battle every day.’

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