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Home > News > Heart attack survivor speaks out in support of the new Heart Centre at the Cumberland Infirmary

Heart attack survivor speaks out in support of the new Heart Centre at the Cumberland Infirmary

Posted on Thursday 10th November 2011

James McLinden

A 38-year-old father of two has spoken of his ‘second chance at life’ after he underwent life-saving surgery following a sudden heart attack in November 2010. James McLinden also expressed his delight that the surgery is going to be available in Cumbria for the first time when The Heart Centre opens at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle at the end of November 2011.

James, who lives in Carlisle, feared he was about to suffer the same fate as his dad, who died of a heart attack at the age of 42, when James was only four years old. James’ son, Harry, was also four years old at the time of James’ heart attack.

James was rushed into the Cumberland Infirmary when he began to suffer severe pains in his chest. He was given thrombolysis immediately which is a combination of medication to dissolve a blood clot and restore the flow of blood to the heart. Unfortunately, this treatment was not successful for James and he was rushed to the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle for a coronary angioplasty.

Coronary angioplasty treats heart disease and angina and is sometimes used as an emergency treatment for people who have had a heart attack. It involves inserting a balloon to clear blocked arteries and may also involve the insertion of a ‘stent’ – a tube to hold the arteries open.

James said: “When I arrived at Newcastle, I was told that the left artery in my heart was 99% clotted. Without the coronary angioplasty, I would have died.”

Following on from the angioplasty, James was informed that he doesn’t have coronary heart disease and although he is going to take preventative medication for the rest of his life, he has been given a clean bill of health. The condition James suffered from was discovered to be genetic – his father had died of the same condition 34 years earlier.

One year on from his heart attack, James is back working full time as a company director of Global Heat Source, a local renewable energy supplier, and regularly goes for 10 mile runs. In February, James and his wife, Helen, found out that they were going to be parents again and welcomed baby Isabella into the world four weeks ago.

James said: “I have gone from the brink of death at the end of last year to a clean bill of health and becoming a father again this year. I am really enjoying my second chance at life. If things had turned out differently, Isabella would not be here now and neither would I.”

James is offering his full support to The Heart Centre at the Cumberland Infirmary which North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust will be opening at the end of November. Patients requiring coronary angioplasty operations will be able to have these for the first time in Cumbria at The Heart Centre.

James said: “My angioplasty saved my life so I am extremely pleased that patients with heart disease will now be able to undergo treatment at the Cumberland Infirmary. Patients benefit from quick diagnosis and treatment so I believe The Heart Centre could help save many lives in Cumbria.”

The Heart Centre is currently under construction close to the main entrance of the Cumberland Infirmary. It will initially be open Monday 8am to Saturday lunchtime with the operating hours then gradually extended to provide a 24 hour, 7 day a week service within 12-18 months.

Lead Interventional Consultant Cardiologist Dr Roger Moore, who has worked in Liverpool, Preston and Blackpool, said: “The new angioplasty service in The Heart Centre offers a dramatic improvement in cardiac care for the people of Cumbria allowing local access to treatments already available in other parts of the country. Cumbrian patients will have the opportunity for immediate diagnosis and treatment of coronary heart disease, reducing the likelihood of heart attacks and saving lives.”