An award-winning comedian will fill in some time waiting for a heart transplant by heading a line-up of laughter makers at a charity stand-up gig near Northampton next month.
Mel Moon oversees four acts from across the country starring at an event taking place at — and in aid of — Hartwell Community Centre on July 24.
Mel suffered chronic heart failure just days after the birth of her youngest child in 2017.
Her relationship broke down and she found herself now a single mum-of-three and suffering from left ventricular systolic dysfyunction and cardiomyopathy — conditions she describes as a ‘death sentence’ hanging over her.
She is kept alive by an defibrillator fitted to her heart but, due to a deterioration in her condition throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, is now due to have an external pump fitted to relieve pressure on the heart until a transplant date comes around.
The Burnley-borrn comic said: “There was a health event in each of my pregnancies which increased in severity. My body was telling me to stop having kids and I ignored it.
“Most pregnant women felt better once they’d delivered but I felt a million times worse and I couldn’t understand why. It was very scary.
“One day a consultant from London told me that ‘some women just aren’t meant to have children, they’re not built for it.’ Looking back, they had all been red flags but until the heart failure, nobody connected them.
“We are effectively running out of time. The idea behind the pump is to get you strong enough to withstand the heart transplant.
“But I am all too aware that I could die at any second and I don’t know when. All I can do is take it a day at a time.”
A professional comedian for more than ten years, Mel won plaudits for her one-woman show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival called Sick Girl and appeared live alongside household names Jack Whitehall, Sarah Millican, Jason Manford and Russell Brand.
She added: “I don’t remember a time 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 let me get closer to humanity and spot the hilarious things that people say and do."
Mel appears alongside Vic Melody, Lovell Smith, Eric Rushton and Jerry Bakewell at Hartwell in a gig which also marks the post-lockdown return of charity stand-up events organised by Comedy at Work creatives Anne Docherty and Mark Hinds.
The pair, from Warwickshire, have already seen a huge demand for tickets for the first of their face-to-face comedy nights in Midlands venues.
Mark Hinds added: “We are so excited to get back to live events. With great crowds and excellent comedians. The extending of lockdown rules threw a small spanner in the works but, we are working hard within the rules to still put on great events and raise much-needed funds for all the charities that we work with.
“To be working with such a fantastic charity as Helping Hands is a real privilege for Anne and myself. We’ve secured a great line up and we know that the laughs are guaranteed.”
Visit comedyatwork.comfor more information and tickets.