Well….. not in a very happy place!
On the evening of Saturday 3rd of August, I received a phone call from my sister, whose first words were ‘Don’t panic, but….’ Not what you want to hear at the beginning of any conversation!
My brother Mark, who lives in Devon with his fiancée, Denise, had been rushed to hospital suffering from a major heart attack. He’s just 54 years old.
He’d been complaining of ‘indigestion’ all day, and being a health worker himself, didn’t want to waste NHS time! Thankfully, he was overruled and persuaded to call 111…..not 999 mind you! Anyway, I gather things moved rather quickly from then on, resulting in a blue light ride in the ambulance and surgery to put in 6 stents. (Apparently, the first thing Denise said to him after surgery was ‘indigestion my arse!’)
Even so, on Sunday morning, just as we were preparing to make the journey from Lancashire to Devon, she was advised to get to the hospital as he was in critical condition. Thankfully the crisis was averted, but he spent a further 10 days in hospital trying to stabilise his liver and kidney functions before he was finally allowed home. The consultant said that there were no lifestyle indicators for why he’d had a heart attack, and after taking family history into consideration (our Dads 3 siblings and his father all had heart problems) he advised us all to have regular cholesterol checks.
He’s recovering very slowly now, but it’s going to be a long road. But slow and steady wins the race. Absolutely no ‘haring’ about, he’s the tortoise in this scenario! As long as he’s fit enough to walk down the aisle next May, there’s no rush! The wedding plans are in full swing, and if he thinks he’s doing me out of making his wedding cake, he’d better think again!
The day he had his heart attack was actually my daughter’s birthday. We didn’t tell her until 2 days afterwards, but Mark has said he will now be sharing his rebirth-day with her!
But all joking aside, he’s been very lucky considering the extent of the blockages they found. The cardiac unit at Torbay hospital were absolutely wonderful, there aren’t words to describe how grateful the whole family is for their care. They are a shining example of how amazing our NHS really is.
We had to come home for a week, but whilst we were at home, my Mum, who stayed in Devon had been shopping and presented us with some rather special T shirts. Fans of ‘Game of Thrones’ will also appreciate the sentiment on the shirt modelled by Mark in the second photo!
Also, on our second trip I made sure I took some prebaked cake, and my decorating tools, and made the staff a chocolate honeycomb cake to share (not with the patients obviously!) I was a bit worried that it was an inappropriate gift for a cardiac unit, but Mark approved, and the staff were delighted 😀 Taking photos wasn’t high on my priority list though, so I’m going to recreate it in my next post, and make it into a tutorial.
A return to my happy place is imminent! Panto rehearsals start shortly too – my other happy place – and I’m sure they won’t object to eating the results!
Please keep my brother in your thoughts and prayers, and, as always
Stay safe and healthy,