Survivor visits new heart clinic


A man from Forest Row has described how a hardworking hospital team saved his life after his heart stopped four times last year.

Graham Bourne, 81 was guest of honour at East Surrey Hospital (which served patients from Forest Row and beyond) which opened its new heart clinic last week.

He described how he suffered a heart attack on January 15 last year. Fortunately paramedics were five minutes away from his home and he was blue-lighted to the hospital minutes before the heart clinic was due to close. He was told his heart had stopped for 40 minutes and at four different times and praised the paramedics who kept him alive during that time.

“I couldn’t believe how lucky I was. I would have died if the ambulance had not been so close and if Dr Banerjee, who treated me, and her team had already gone home I would have had to go to a hospital in South London and would probably not have survived.”

Cardiology consultant Dr Shrilla Banerjee added: “Mr Bourne came in at 6pm and our labs had closed but he came in in cardiac arrest and was brought in by the ambulance having collapsed at home. The ambulance crew had to give him some shocks to the heart and managed to regain some output and brought him to A&E who quickly brought him down in order for us to do something because the only other option would be to send him to Tooting. The longer the patient’s artery is blocked the more damage is done and we brought him into the lab and took some pictures and we found that the right coronary artery was blocked.”

The team at East Surrey Hospital performed a procedure known as a coronary angioplasty and unblocked one of the arteries that had caused Mr Bourne to have a heart attack. He was kept in intensive care before he regained consciousness.

Mr Bourne went on to say how he woke up about two weeks after his heart attack and thought: “I could have been dead. I could not believe how lucky I was. It’s a unique feeling.”

In total, Mr Bourne has had four stents – small mesh tubes to improve blood flow – fitted. And he says he has now found an extra lease of life, adding: “I love watching documentaries and finding out about life. I’m always learning. When there is time between my treatment and it is safe I want to visit my grandchildren in Spain.”

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