Irwin Campbell (74) lives in Limavady. Shortly after his retirement 14 years ago, he developed heart problems. “I was having dinner,” he says, “when the fork dropped out of my hand. I’d lost all the strength in my left arm. The next morning I went to comb my hair and just couldn’t raise the hand high enough.
“I went to the doctor, who referred me to a heart specialist. I was asked to walk on the treadmill, but after about a minute I had to stop. I thought I was going to die.
“After undergoing the dye test it was discovered that I had a blocked artery. But I was told that it was too dangerous to operate because it was too close to another major blood vessel, so I’m on drug treatments including warfarin.
“Since then, the doctors have also discovered that I have irregular heartbeat and angina, but although I’ve been to Altnagelvin Hospital twice to have the heartbeat stabilised, it hasn’t worked.
“Nowadays I’m very short of breath. If I walk up any kind of incline, I have to stop. I also perspire a lot with the effort of getting around, so if the house is warm enough for my wife, I find it unbearable. If it’s cool enough for me, she’s frozen”.
Irwin is planning to attend our Limavady Cardiac Support group.
“It’s about having someone else to talk to who’s in the same position,” he says, ”and about putting your mind at rest”.
Find out more about the cardiac support services that Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke offer.