When she was twelve years old, Neslihan Arslan went to see her pediatrician who found that her heart was beating faster than normal. Since there was no pediatric cardiology department in the hospital Neslihan was at, she was admitted to the adult clinic. Following a physical examination and echocardiogram, Neslihan was hospitalized. However despite informing her family, Neslihan hadn’t been told her diagnosis, explaining: “I had no clue.”

Later on, Neslihan learned from a cousin that she had been diagnosed with heart failure. The doctor explained to her family that she only had 20% heart function and one to two months left to live. Neslihan explains: “My family were crying. That’s how I heard the news.”


1) Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 Collaborators. Global, regional and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 301 acute and chronic diseases and injuries in 188 countries, 1990-2013: a systemic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. Lancet. 2015;386(9995):743-800