The Founder of two Midlands heart charities has collected her MBE at Buckingham Palace.
Trudie Lobban, who started the STARS charity from her kitchen table in 1993, was given the award in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list earlier this year.
She started the charity after her younger daughter was diagnosed with a little-known heart rhythm disorder, Reflex Anoxic Seizures, aged four and she could find nowhere to turn to for help.
Since then, the charity, based in Stratford Upon Avon, has grown to become international, with a division in the US.
In 2004, Trudie launched a campaign that succeeded in changing a government health policy. The campaign brought about the inclusion of heart rhythm disorders, or arrhythmias, into national standards for coronary care with the aim of improving diagnosis and treatment for all people with irregular heartbeat conditions.
She then founded her second charity, Arrhythmia Alliance, as an umbrella organisation bringing together patient groups, medical professionals and industry to further the gains she had already made. A third charity, based in Bristol, focusing on patients with Atrial Fibrillation has also been formed and in addition, Trudie now sits on many medical boards
Trudie is actively helped in her charity work by her daughters, Charlotte and Francesca who are both now adults. Charlotte has almost completed training to become a doctor herself. The charities employ 16 staff, mainly in Stratford.
Trudie says “I am so delighted to be receiving this award today. It’s been a long road and hard work but we have achieved so much in our efforts to help people with cardiac arrhythmias. I want to share it with the people who have worked with me to make a difference.”
Trudie’s husband, Charles, who worked tirelessly alongside Trudie since she started STARS will be especially missed today. He passed away suddenly last year, ironically from Sudden Cardiac Death, before her MBE was awarded.
Congratulations to Trudie and I wish her a very merry Christmas with her family. PS if you're in the Midlands, she is soon to be featured in the Birmingham Post women's section.
Visit STARS at http://www.stars.org.uk & AA at http://www.heartrhythmcharity.org.uk & AFA at http://www.atrialfibrillation.org.uk