Kate was diagnosed with idiopathic PAH in November 2020, when she was working as a personal assistant.

“Following advice from my specialist centre, I was off work for three months after my diagnosis.  Five days before I was due to return, my line manager changed my job role, so I had an increased workload.

I told my line manager “I can’t do this”.  I had to involve my trade union to support me, so it was a very stressful time. My specialist centre had advised me to avoid stress and take one day at a time.  Last month, I decided to take early retirement, as I simply could not cope with both work and my deteriorating health.

My husband and I set up a spreadsheet and worked out our finances, and we realised we could afford for me to retire.  We also decided my health was more important than my job.

I will start receiving my state pension in a couple of years and I have taken a lump sum from my private pension to bridge the gap.  I am currently trying to apply for Personal Independence Payments (PIP).

There is nothing I miss about work.  I have no regrets about the decision I made.”