Lolohea Palelei has permanent damage to her heart valves because of Rheumatic Fever Photo: RNZ Insight / Luke McPake
COMING UP ON INSIGHT:
NZ's heart-breaker: rheumatic fever rates on the rise
100 years ago, hospital wards were filling up with young people suffering from severe rheumatic heart disease. Now most well off countries have all but rid themselves of rheumatic fever; but not New Zealand. Philippa Tolley talks to those living with this heart-damaging autoimmune disease and to those left behind.
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