Pioneering Solihull scientist dies after 'pulled muscle' turned out to be rare heart cancer - The Solihull Observer

Pioneering Solihull scientist dies after 'pulled muscle' turned out to be rare heart cancer

Solihull Editorial 10th Oct, 2023   0

A WORLD-LEADING scientist from Solihull has died from a rare form of cancer.

Dr Kirsty Smitten was initially thought to have pulled a muscle before being diagnosed with cardiac-angiosarcoma cancer – heart cancer.

The 29-year-old died in hospital surrounded her family on October 4 having spent the past seven weeks in Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Last November after waking with severe chest pain Kirsty went to hospital where doctors thought she’d hurt a muscle and gave her painkillers.

She was later diagnosed with cardiac angiosarcoma and was told she had months to live.

Only two people a year are diagnosed with it in the UK.




Following her diagnosis she set up a blog where she wrote about every day life, surgery and the support of her friends and family to raise awareness of her condition.

Leading the tributes her older brother, Matthew Smitten, has set up a fundraiser to donate money to Sarcoma UK and said the family want to continue Kirsty’s work and set up a charity in her name.


Matthew said: “Kirsty Smitten sadly passed away on 4th, October 2023, following a brave and courageous battle against cardiac-angiosarcoma cancer.

“My little sister was a determined and extraordinary young woman, who had carried out groundbreaking scientific research to help save the lives of millions.

“During the most vulnerable and difficult time in her life, Kirsty’s kindness and determination to help those in need did not waiver.

“She created a Facebook group to provide those diagnosed with cardiac-angiosarcoma with guidance and moral support; through her local football team she helped to raise money for food banks across Sheffield; shared her cancer journey through blogs, Instagram and TikTok, in order to spread awareness.

“My sister leaves behind a legacy of charity and generosity that touched the lives of many in need.

“We want to continue her work and look to setup a charity in Kirsty’s name or donate to Sarcoma UK.”

The Go Fund Me page raised almost £7,000 in less than 24 hours with tributes flooding in for her.

On the site Emma Ghosh wrote: “Kirsty was an inspiration with honesty and strength.

“Such a loss to science, to humanity and of course her family. I send my deepest sympathies and I hope there is a small comfort in knowing her Dad is there with open arms to greet her in heaven.”

She featured on Forbes’ 30 under 30 Europe list in 2020 for her work in helping combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which causes antibiotics to become ineffective in preventing and treating infections.

For more or to donate click here.

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