Fiona Ballantyne took ill health retirement from her job as an administrative officer when she was diagnosed with PAH in 2019.

“My consultant advised me not to go back to work as I just wasn’t capable, and I was granted retirement a couple of months later. I worked out that by taking a bigger lump sum and a smaller pension, I was able to get benefits too.

Once I had all the figures sorted out, I was a lot happier about the decision and knew that I would be ok financially. 

I don’t miss the work because it was getting to the stage where I hated the job, but I miss the people, the interactions, and going out every day. The routine was important and without it I feel a bit lost.

Now, I’m just the person who sits on a scooter and can’t do anything. I miss being useful and I miss being good at something.

Doing voluntary work from home has helped. I look after admin for the community hub up the road and I’m hoping to do more. 

Despite all of this though I am very glad that I retired because I know in myself there’s no way I could have carried on.”