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Cardiac patient praises teams as NHS celebrates 75th birthday

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As the NHS celebrates its 75th anniversary, a cardiac patient who has just had replacement stents fitted more than a decade after his first set has said a big thank you to the teams behind his care.

Paul Garvey has no doubt that the efficiency and knowledge of the staff and services involved in his care means he can tell his story today.

The 66-year-old recently suffered a heart attack after complaining from chest pains. It came 14 years after having six stents inserted following the narrowing of his arteries.

Stents are short wire mesh tubes which act like scaffolding to keep a narrowing arteries open to help blood flow.

He attended Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend, but was then rushed to Morriston Hospital for specialist care.

Paul said: “I started getting chest pains after some hard exercise, and I put it off for a while until I finally went to see my GP.

“I had a cardiogram and that showed up a problem, so my GP told me to go to hospital.

“I had some chest pain in the car, but it got a lot worse when in the hospital in Bridgend.

“We are not sure when I had my heart attack, but I was blue-lighted to Morriston and taken straight into the cardiac theatre.

“The team was ready for me and I was operated on immediately – there was no waiting. It could have been a lot worse for me had my care not been in Morriston.”

The procedure saw a new stent placed inside an older stent that had blocked completely, and another two inserted behind that.

Paul spent one night in Morriston before being transferred back to Princess of Wales Hospital, where he was discharged the same day.

Paul said: “Right from my GP to Princess of Wales Hospital and Morriston – there must have been 30-40 health professionals involved. I can’t praise their care enough. The paramedics were great too.

“I survived. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have got through it.”

Following a quick recovery, Paul continues to received cardiac rehab in Bridgend, while he is already back working in his role as an education consultant.

He also has a big reunion to look forward to – one he didn’t think he’d make.

Paul added: “I am going to America in just over a week’s time. It was a pre-arranged trip, but once I had the heart attack I didn’t think I’d make it.

“I’m reuniting with a friend from an old summer camp we attended in America, so I’m even more grateful for everything the NHS has done for me because it wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the care I had in Morriston and Bridgend.”

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