Local resident shares her story through Amazon Alexa to help the British Heart Foundation beat heartbreak forever


A South Norwood resident, who was diagnosed with a deadly heart condition last year, is sharing her story as part of a UK-first charity partnership with the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

Rebecca Shorrocks, 36, tells her story and thanks supporters for donating to the BHF as part of a new voice-activated skill for the Amazon Alexa. Simply enable the Alexa skill through the Alexa app or just ask through an Alexa-enabled device like Amazon Echo to make a one-off donation or request a free and fast collection of unwanted furniture and electrical items to one of around 180 BHF Furniture and Electrical stores in the UK. Just ask “Alexa, ask British Heart Foundation to collect my furniture,” or “Alexa, open British Heart Foundation and donate money.”

The British Heart Foundation is the first organisation in the world to enable people to request a collection of furniture and electrical items using the Amazon Alexa and the first UK charity to receive donations through Amazon Pay using voice-activated technology.

Rebecca was diagnosed with ARVC, a rare genetic disease of the heart muscle in February of last year, which put her at a high risk of going into a cardiac arrest. She was fitted with an internal defibrillator called an ICD, which is able to shock her heart back to a stable rhythm.

Speaking of her involvement, Rebecca said: “By the time I finished a short run on the day that changed my life forever; I started to get heart palpitations and felt out of breath. I managed to make it to an acting audition later that afternoon but I knew straight afterwards that I needed to go to hospital.

“I knew something was seriously wrong when they first thought my ECG results were a mistake. They weren’t – my heart rate was dangerously high; my heart had to be shocked with a defibrillator. What was disturbing were all the machines. The beeps were making such loud horrid noises, which made me panic even more.

“I was reading through one of the leaflets after being diagnosed with ARVC and I remember just bursting into tears. It dawned on me that life was going to change. The whole experience has been tough emotionally. It’s the uncertainty and having the ICD fitted was like having a foreign body in me that I had no control over.

“I’m honoured to be a part of the British Heart Foundation’s very first Amazon Echo skill. With no cure for ARVC, donations to help fund the British Heart Foundation’s life saving research are vital. It means I can have hope for the future.”

Becky is one of an estimated seven million people in the UK living with heart and circulatory disease and these conditions currently kill one in four people. Money raised through the Amazon Echo skill will help fund over £100million towards pioneering research into heart and circulatory conditions such as genetic conditions like ARVC, stroke, and vascular dementia.