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Mum who had heart failure while giving birth says laughter helped her to heal

PUBLISHED: 12:18 29 April 2010 | UPDATED: 10:05 02 July 2010

Nina and Andy Whear with their twins Alfie and Evie.

Nina and Andy Whear with their twins Alfie and Evie.

David Bale

A mother of twins who says she used laughter as a medicine to help her get over suffering heart failure while due to give birth has turned her attentions to helping others do the same.

A mother of twins who says she used laughter as a medicine to help her get over suffering heart failure while due to give birth has turned her attentions to helping others do the same.

Nina Whear collapsed on January 6 last year and suffered heart failure following an aortic dissection while nine months' pregnant with twins.

She was rushed to hospital for an emergency caesarean followed by open-heart surgery.

Medics told her that her aorta had torn, causing blood to flow between the layers of the wall of the aorta and forcing them apart, which is often fatal.

She had just a 7pc chance of survival and the hospital chaplain gave her the last rites, but she survived, as did her baby twins Evie and Alfie, who weighed 3lb 11oz and 4lb 10oz.

She had been recommended laughter therapy by her consultant prior to conceiving, but did not have time to try it until after giving birth.

However, since then she has not looked back and now runs the Norfolk Laughter Club, which meets in Norwich on the second Saturday of each month at the Assembly House and on the fourth Saturday of each month at Lammas Village Hall.

The 39-year-old, who lives with her husband Andy in Lammas, near Coltishall, said: “Laughter is the best medicine. Among many other amazing benefits it helps with stress and pain relief, and makes you feel better because it releases endorphins. I also did not realise before but it improves circulation and respiration, and also makes you feel more positive and gives you confidence.”

This Sunday Mrs Whear will be leading people in Norwich through a laughter therapy session as part of World Laughter Day. The event in Norwich will be based on her laughter yoga sessions, which involve a series of simple breath and body-based laughter exercises, and is from noon to 1pm outside the Forum.

For more information visit www.norfolklaughterclub.com.

Do you run an unusual club in Norwich? Ring reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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