Online Editions

5th Jul, 2022

Laughter is the best medicine for comedian with life-threatening heart condition

A COMEDIAN, whose comedy is close to her heart in more ways than one, is set to headline a Warwick charity gig.

Mel Moon will oversee the laughs from comedians at the Comedy at Work show, in Warwickspace in Coten End to raise funds for Leamington homeless charity Helping Hands. Also joining Mel are comedians Damon Conlan, Samantha Day, Sam Rhodes, and Matt Trimble.

The stand-up remains active on the comedy circuit, despite a life-threatening heart condition.

It was just as her comedy career was taking off in 2017, when Mel suffered chronic heart failure days after the birth of her youngest child.

Her relationship broke down and she found herself a single mum of three and suffering from Left Ventricular Systolic Dysfyunction and Cardiomyopathy – a condition she describes as a ‘death sentence’ hanging over her.

She is kept alive by a defibrillator device fitted to her heart but, due to a deterioration in her condition, Mel has been put forward for a left Ventricular Assist Device – or an LVAD – an external mechanical pump which relieves the pressure on the heart until a transplant date comes around.

Mel said: “We are effectively running out of time. I had shown a marked deterioration in my health over the Covid period. The idea behind the LVAD is to get you strong enough to withstand the heart transplant which is very taxing on the body, and to get your arteries in good condition.

“But I am all too aware that I could die at any second and I don’t know when. How do you even begin to prepare for that? I can’t put it into words. All I can do is take it a day at a time.”

Despite her situation, Mel, who has won plaudits for her one-woman show Sick Girl at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, credits her dark sense of humour with getting her through the adversity life’s thrown at her.

“I don’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t have humour to get me through. My own adversities have unquestionably made my comedy better. Nearly dying was the biggest one. It made me less cynical even though it was at a time when I should have felt most angry with the world and made me appreciate the beauty of humanity which I’d never really seen before. It then let me get closer to humanity and spot the hilarious things that people say and do. I love satire.

“I do a gig and then I’m in bed for three days. But it’s about remembering who I am and thinking, one day I’ll be her again – or even a better version.”

Some of the proceeds from the night will benefit Leamington charity Helping Hands which supports the vulnerable and homeless community.

Fund-raising officer Leila Gough said: “The past 15 months have been difficult and challenging for us all and for those most vulnerable the impact has been devastating. Having lost the ability to host our fundraising events has been difficult, not only for the vital funds that are raised, but also for the human interactions that are so essential to us all for our mental wellbeing.

“We are delighted to be hosting our first public fund-raising event in conjunction with Comedy at Work as we feel that a social event where laughter and enjoyment of being out with loved ones is definitely needed.”

The show is on July 31.

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