This is just a note to let people know that it may be a while until I am back on the summits. Last Wednesday (5th July) I suffered a heart attack brought on by stress and high blood pressure which narrowed my arteries and caused a blood clot. I was rushed to the excellent Coronary Unit at Kettering General Hospital to undergo an emergency procedure to remove a clot and I had two stents inserted into my right coronary artery. Tests revealed that I will require further work on the left side of my heart following consultation with specialist surgeons.
Thankfully an ecocardiogram has revealed that there has been minimal damage to my heart and following rest and with on-going treatment, both in the short term (various specialist drugs) and for the rest of my life (aspirin), I should be okay once the appropriate surgery has been carried out. I believe that participation in SOTA has kept my heart fit and healthy, allowing it to withstand this trauma.
The moral of this story is that no-one should assume that feeling strong and healthy and having the ability to climb hills and mountains means that you are in full health. This experience has been a shot across my bows and I would urge everyone out on the hills to be conscious of any warning signs, however inconsequential they may appear. Looking back the need to take fairly regular stops on ascents to catch my breath should have prompted me to get myself thoroughly checked out and not just rely upon my GP prescribing treatment for my blood pressure.
For those knockers of the UK National Health Service who may read this notice, I would say this: I received the very best attention that the service can supply. I was alone at the time of my heart attack and therefore called 999 myself. The emergency operator was amazing, talking me through pre-treatment with aspirin. The paramedics and ambulance arrived 12 minutes after I called the emergency service. The team of 4 guys were brilliant, carrying out the initial diagnosis and treatment and arranging the procedure at Kettering. On arrival at the hospital I was taken straight to the “lab” and the procedure carried out. I was awake throughout and a little over an hour later I was in recovery. Once on the Coronary Care Unit, the excellent nursing staff took over and I was transferred to the adjacent Coronary Ward in under 24 hours, being released yesterday. I rate the service received 100 out of 100 - excellence indeed. Obviously I am fortunate to live where I do, so please do not debate the pros and cons of individual NHS centres under this thread. I just want to say how grateful I am that I received such excellent treatment which will hopefully allow me many more years on the summits.
73, Gerald G4OIG / G8CXK
I hope that you are soon back on the hills Gerry.
Wish you a good recovery Gerald !
Running around with a stent myself (since 2013), and also on medication “for life”.
I have regular checkups, and it didn’t put me off from doing SOTA … in fact I only started SOTA in 2014, so after it happended.
73 Luc ON7DQ
Get well soon Gerald and hope you are back activating soon.
Good luck with the recovery, Gerald.
I had a stent fitted this time last year. Luckily I was fit before the problems occurred and I was back in the hills by September.
Hello Gerald. Very Sorry to hear of your heart attack. I do know from personal experience what you are going through. I agree, the NHS are excellent and have saved my life several times.
Get Well Soon my friend. 73 de Paul M0CQE.
Get well soon. Be proactive for your recovery and may part of that being an activation or two when its appropriate.
Thanks Gerald, for the valuable comments and observations.
Hope you’re back on the summits soon.
From one Cardiac Survivor to another, “Welcome to the Club!” It is a far better club to be in than those who are not eligible. For your future I give you this reference: June 2005, 100% occlusion of RCA, cleared via angioplasty - no bypass needed. Fast forward 12 years, blood pressure meds - cut in half, cholestorol meds at about 1/8 of where started 12 years ago. I have found myself more affected by altitude however, when visiting the mountains I need an extra day for acclimation - really have found it to only be a speed bump and not a show stopper.
I look forward to your positive reports as you heal and even more so your tales of your feats as a survivor!
So sorry to hear of this, no one knows if and when it will happen, we all think we can go on forever, but I wish you all the best and a good recovery and as others have said hope to hear you on the hills very soon, it is a warning take heed.
Most of all slow down.
Sorry to hear that Gerald, but delighted you seem to have come through so well. Best wishes and get well soon
Get well soon, Gerald!
Wishing you a speedy recovery Gerald, hope you’re back on the hills again soon!
Wishing you a speedy recovery back to good health, and may you have many more SOTA summits to come.
Hope the treatment goes well Gerald and a speedy recovery.
I will try to sort out a 70cm antenna for your return to activating may be for chance of a S2S.
Get well soon! Glad your recovery looks likely to be complete.
All the best Gerald and hope you make a (very) speedy recovery.
SOTA has a lot going for it and increasing activity in those of us who engage in what is a sedentary hobby has definitely helped - you are living proof.
My best wishes of a good and prompt recovery, Gerald.
I’m sure you’ll be back activating again soon.
Really sorry to hear about this Gerald, and I hope you are soon back to full strength. And I concur fully with your sentiment. When I had a brain procedure under the NHS 4 years ago, my care was astonishingly good; it was as though I’d gone private!