Ambassador Devesh Thakkar
My name is Devesh, I’m 38 and from London but now live in Leicester with my family. I have Thalassaemia Major with the extra collectibles such as Osteoporosis and Heart Failure.
Growing up I always tried to keep my Thalassaemia Major on the back burner and always away from friends. I learnt that as I grew up this wasn’t always possible particularly when I started university in 2003.
I wanted some ‘normality’ in my life and be like everyone else and this meant not being very good when it came to my chelation therapy. I would miss it probably 90% of the time and before I knew it I was walking home from lectures and I collapsed suddenly. I didn’t know it at the time but was going through heart failure due to iron overload.
Turned out that my heart function was about 30% and I was lucky to be alive. I found that by trying to be like everyone else I ended up neglecting the part of my life that I felt was not very important.
I fought hard with the help of the NHS to remove all the excess iron that I stand here a better person. I learnt a big lesson the hardest way possible was that I cannot hide my Thalassaemia but it does not define who I am… I am more!
I restarted my life after the heart failure by going to university and then getting a job with an events company as a social media specialist. I’ve worked very hard to over the past two years to build up two successful businesses. My first is ‘Dippers’ and we provide access to hydrotherapy pools for adults with long term health conditions.
Due to Covid-19 and the lockdown ‘Dippers’ has taken a backseat so with my spare time I decided to launch my next venture which is ‘Ego & Co.’ and now create bespoke t-shirts with funny sayings on them. These t-shirts have been a big part of my time in and out of hospital and many doctors would come especially to see what t-shirt I was wearing each day.