As The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust celebrates World Heart Day one person who is grateful for the help and support he has received is 45 year old Andrew Windle who underwent quadruple heart bypass surgery following a heart attack.
Whilst he wouldn’t be here to tell the tale if it hadn’t been for the cardiologist, nurses and all the other amazing people who carried out his surgery and nursed him back to health, Andrew is particularly grateful to the Cardiac Rehabilitation Team at Mid Yorkshire Trust who have truly helped him get his life back together.
“When I felt unwell I thought I was just struggling to shake off a cold,” said Andrew, “but when my chest pains wouldn’t go away I ended up in A and E where a blood test showed I’d had a heart attack.”
Andrew was then transferred to the cardiology ward at Pinderfields Hospital where an angiogram revealed he had three blockages and required bypass surgery, it was during the procedure it was discovered he had a fourth blockage.
“Everything happened so quickly,” said Andrew, “that I don’t really think it sunk it at first. By the time I was discharged from the hospital and into the care of the rehabilitation team I was a bit of a mess. I’d had a massive health scare and major surgery which resulted in me having so much different medication to take and I also needed to learn to live with my condition.
“The Cardiac Rehabilitation Team have been amazing. As well as advice about exercising and general heart health they have also helped me come to terms with the mental and emotional side of things, which for me, were impacted in a huge way.
“They have truly kept me going and I can never thank them enough for what they have done for me.”
Although he felt he was relatively fit and followed a fairly healthy diet, Andrew has made changes to his diet and lifestyle in a bid to do all he can to preserve his heart health.
“I’ve joined a gym, I cycle to work and I’ve cut out all processed foods - we buy fresh and cook from scratch. If I knew that a heart attack was around the corner for me I would have made these changes so much sooner. You only get one heart and you need to look after it.”
The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust Cardiac Rehabilitation Team is based at Dewsbury Hospital and is there to support any patients who have under gone heart surgery or need to make changes to their lifestyle to improve their heart health.
Helen O’Toole, a Cardiac Rehabilitation Nurse Specialist at the Trust, said: “It’s great to see Andrew living a healthy life and looking after his heart. By making some small changes he is helping to reduce his risk of further complications and improve the quality and longevity of his life.”
Cardiovascular disease is the world’s number one killer today. But it doesn’t need to be this way. By making just a few small changes to our lives, we can reduce our risk of heart disease and stroke, as well as improving our quality of life and setting a good example for the next generation.