George thanks Our Hearts Our Minds Programme for assistance after heart attack

A local man who took a heart attack while playing golf said he is extremely thankful for the help and support the ‘Our Hearts, Our Minds’ Programme team provided to him during his recovery.

Friday, 17th January 2020, 9:54 am
George pictured at the highest view point over Reykjavik post heart attack.
George pictured at the highest view point over Reykjavik post heart attack.

George Baldrick said that day back in March 2019 was “without a doubt the most traumatic day of my life”.

Recalling the episode, he said: “Whilst playing a round of golf, I felt pains in my chest and was short of breath. My wife convinced me to go to A&E where I was quickly diagnosed as having had a heart attack. Here I was admitted to the cardiovascular ward where I went through several procedures.

“It was through these that the surgeon decided I would require three stents. My heart attack happened on the March 23 and by the following Wednesday I received two stents. I was informed that my heart would require time to recover before I received the third.

“Before I was discharged from the hospital, I met with Donna from the ‘Our Hearts and Minds’ team who informed me of all the help and services that were available to me. Even though I was waiting to begin my Hearts and Minds rehabilitation classes, the team were in constant communication with me, making sure I was okay. This eased the process and helped me to come to terms with the shock of having a heart attack, even before the programme began.”

George said that in the time leading up to my first class with the programme he was apprehensive, but any worries were soon eased as the team made sure that I felt looked after. “These became very important to me and I made it a point to attend every class as I could see and feel how beneficial they were for me. They helped me to understand my new diet, my new lifestyle and my new fitness regime,” he said, adding:

“It was helpful to be in a group environment following my heart attack as I felt I had support and I knew I wasn’t the only person experiencing this trauma. There was physical and mental rehabilitation, things I couldn’t have achieved without the ‘Our Hearts, Our Minds’ team.”

On August 14, he was called back into Altnagelvin Hospital to receive what he thought was going to be one stent, but die to another unforeseen problem with his heart he had to receive two stents, “meaning I now have four in total”.

“This second time in hospital was much easier than I had expected as the nurses and support staff in the cardiovascular ward remembered me from my stay in March,” he said. “This was great, I felt genuinely cared for and looked after. I was a person to them and not just another bed. I never was a patient in a hospital prior to my heart attack and would like to acknowledge what brilliant job the NHS staff did for me at Altnagelvin Hospital.

“Without the continued support of the staff at Altnagelvin Hospital and the ‘Our Hearts, Our Minds’ team, I would have struggled to come through this traumatic time in my life. Your programme is an asset to the NHS!”