As a romance writer, I know how fragilme a heart can be. They're broken at least once or twice a chapter, and only mended when the hero and heroine are together at last.
Unfortunately, in real life, the heart is fragile as well. My husband has to have a valve replacement. He's lived with a faulty valve all his life, actually. Born with a severe heart murmur, the doctors said he should avoid strenuous activities, and they told him he'd never be an athlete.
Well, never say never to my husband. He (typical bull-headed Taurus) decided he'd play polo, no matter what. And he did. He and his brother were the best polo players in France, and among the top five players in Europe. But the strain took its toll, and his aortic valve, never very strong, began to fail. The first signs were fatigue and snappishness. Totally unlike him. Then he fainted. An electrocardiogram turned up nothing, but he still felt awful, and when, finally, his doctor put a stethescope against his chest, he knew something was very wrong. (Sometimes a simple examination beats a high-tech exam!)
He's in the hospital now, waiting for his operation ( Scheduled for Monday). He hates being sick. He's always been incredibly healthy. Never cold, never ill, never complaining ( ladies, if you like the strong silent type, find yourselves a Taurus man!).
But he'll be fine after the operation, and he'll finally have a heart valve that works 100%, instead of just half that. He's looking forward to feeling better than ever. I'm looking forward to having my husband back home!
For information on hearts, I went to the American Heart Association website, and the British Heart assocation website had pdf files you can download and read like booklets explaining the different pathologies. Nothing beats talking to your own doctor though, and the wesbite couldn't pat me on the shoulder and tell me my husband will be feeling better than he's ever felt in a matter of weeks.