Alexandra Mardell – who plays Emma Brooker in Coronation Street – has revealed the death of her father led to the discovery she has a hole in her heart.
The actress has been breaking fans’ hearts with her performance recently and has since revealed the real-life heartache behind the plot playing out on screen.
The star paid tribute to her late dad – and the storyline – with a lovely throwback picture on Instagram.
She wrote: “This one’s for you Dad. So honoured I was given the chance to take on the story of Emma’s loss.
“This will always be one of the most meaningful stories to play for me. Something so important that I could truly relate to.”
And now she has opened up about her father, Michael’s death three years ago from heart disease cardiomyopathy, and how it led to her own health discovery.
The family didn’t even know he had the condition until he passed away in 2016 and as it can be hereditary Alexandra and her siblings were tested for the gene.
Although Ali was told she didn’t have it, doctors did discover a gap between two of her heart’s chambers.
Speaking to the Mirror, the actress said: “It’s not related to the cardiomyopathy whatsoever – it’s a total coincidence but obviously an issue I need to keep an eye on.”
Opening up about the symptoms, Ali explained: “I sometimes get palpitations and difficulty with breathing.
“I have always had issues with my breathing when exercising, but I always thought that was just my general lack of fitness. It’s nice in a way to have a little bit of an excuse!
“Luckily, it hasn’t caused me any major problems so far.
“I need check-ups every five years and if there are issues in the future it’s something they are able to close up.”
View this post on Instagram
3 of my favourite picis for the 3 years since he passed. I miss his crazy self, and always will. I wish he could have seen all the exciting things that have happened for our family over these past 3 years. You used to call me you’re angel, now you’re mine. In 2016 my Dad suddenly passed away from Cardiomyopathy, a heart disease we had never heard of and were unaware he had. This year I am going to take part in the Great Manchester Run, to raise awareness which could hopefully prevent other families from suffering from this so suddenly. Knowledge is power. Please take the time to have a look at @cardiomyopathyuk. And if anyone is able to donate, (link in bio) I would truly appreciate your support. Thank you xx http://www.justgiving.com/AlexandraMardell?utm_id=27 💙💙💙
Alexandra has shared pictures of her father to Instagram before, most notably on the anniversary of his death.
Ali revealed: “In 2016 my dad suddenly passed away from cardiomyopathy, a heart disease we had never heard of and were unaware he had.
“This year I am going to take part in the Great Manchester Run to raise awareness which could hopefully prevent other families from suffering from this so suddenly.”
Alexandra then revealed in May that she had completed the challenge and finished off her message of thanks for all her supporters saying: “For you Dad.”
View this post on Instagram
#GreatManchesterRun @great_run! Congrats to everyone who took part today!!! Even proud of myself! Achieved my best time, but just chuffed I made the finish line. Thanks for everyone’s support and your generous donations. Feeling like one very lucky gal. I have such gorgeous friends & family who have really looked out for me today! And those two crazy heads who surprised me and came from London to cheer me on!! Also thanks to @cardiomyopathyuk for your support and advice! I hope this run has helped in some way! Love to all xxx For you Dad xxx
On-screen, Emma’s dad has recently died after being diagnosed with stomach cancer.
But before he passed away, he told Emma he’d always loved her like she was his own.
Although Audrey had suspected he was confused with his medication, Emma rang her mum needing to know what he meant.
Emma’s mum, who was later revealed to be Fiona Middleton, said that Emma’s dad wasn’t her biological father.
Coronation Street airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7.30pm and 8.30pm on ITV.
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