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Penryn teenager Charlotte Banfield not going to let Asperger's Syndrome or life threatening heart condition stop her

By West Briton  |  Posted: May 09, 2013

By Ginette Davies

charlotte

A TEENAGER with Asperger's syndrome and a life-threatening heart condition is refusing to let them stop her living to the max

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A TEENAGER with Asperger's syndrome and a life-threatening heart condition is refusing to let them stop her living to the max.

Charlotte Banfield is even hoping to take part in the autism surf championships next month, and wants to become a marine biologist – despite having had a terrifying seizure in the sea.

The 14-year-old from Penryn was diagnosed with supraventricular tachycardia, which causes an irregular heartbeat. She has collapsed more than 35 times in three years and must carry a defibrillator with her.

Last year she had a seizure in the sea and never wanted to return to the water, but the charity Wave Project helped.

Her mum Tanya, 38, who is a single parent to Charlotte and Chloe, 15, said the two conditions could be very difficult to manage.

"Asperger's means she has high energy, but she has the heart condition which means she shouldn't do excessive exercise.

"We try to offset one against the other."

She had since been exercising with the help of Helen Tite at The Core Fitness Studio, whose staff had trained to use the defibrillator.

Mrs Banfield said: "She's a different child. Chloe has more freedom and I'm happier because the girls are happier."

Charlotte spent last Christmas in hospital and is soon due to return to Bristol for tests.

Mrs Banfield, who has had a number of illnesses and undergone surgery herself, said she and the girls help one another through their challenges: "We've had quite a few knocks over the years, but we just get on with it.

"Chloe has had to make sacrifices, but she's very protective of her sister and looks out for her. We have a tight bond."

Mrs Banfield, was the winner of the Pirate FM parent of the year and winner's winner award for her efforts both in looking after her daughters and in helping in her local community.

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