Cardiac unit gets Rob back on his feet
HAVING a 90% blockage in one artery to the heart is enough to scare anyone, and the thought of having to go on a waiting list, travel to Brisbane and have an operation, could cause more stress and damage to the heart.
Last week it was announced, in a Central Queensland first, that the cardiac unit at the Friendlies Society Hospital is licensed to carry out interventional procedures, including the placement of stents and balloons to widen arteries and remove blockages.
Bundaberg's Robert Brough, 66, is thankful the procedure can now be performed here after becoming so short of breath that he wasn't even able to pick up a matchbox.
On August 19, Mr Brough had shoulder pains, and became puffed easily while wife Ann said she noticed he had night sweats and was short of breath.
"The pain was worse at night when I relaxed - the blood wasn't pumping as hard and the pains became worse," Mr Brough said.
Mrs Brough said her husband had a known heart condition and she was anxious to get to the bottom of the pains fast.
"We went to see Dr Conradie, who performed an echo, a stress test and angiogram that showed he had a 90% blockage," she said.
"We knew it was serious stuff when Robert couldn't complete the stress test."
On August 22, Mr Brough was one of the first local patients to have a stent implanted to open the blockage in his heart at the Friendlies.
"Rob has ischemic heart disease and has had previous stents placed, all in Brisbane," Mrs Brough said.
"With this new facility, it cuts out the waiting and makes it easier on the whole family, especially the person with the condition."
Mr Brough said it had been difficult to go to Brisbane for his other three heart surgeries.
"With it now being available here, local people will save not only precious time, but also the costs of air travel, air ambulance and accommodation," he said.
"You get to stay here with your loved ones and that's important when you are sick.
"I can't thank everyone at the Friendlies enough - they got me back on my feet and ready for work." Mr Brough said down the track, he may need more stents or operations, and the quicker the procedures could be done, the better.
"I have two kids and five grandsons - I won't lie down and die, that's for sure."