"Open Heart Surgery One Year On"

About: Northern General Hospital / Cardiology

(as the patient),

Unknown to me I was born with a faulty heart valve (the aortic). It was identified purely by accident by a radiologist and my GP following an X ray after I had a motorbike accident. In July 2009 I underwent open heart surgery and valve replacement at Sheffield Northern General Chesterman Unit. The service was fantastic from start to finish and at all levels. From the consultant surgeon and the anaesthatist to the ward staff and even the auxilliary/support staff who brought round meals and drinks to the ward. Every one of them was helpful, genuinely caring and made the experience as pleasant as possible. Appointments (including pre admission and after discharge) were well coordinated with no delays and the reminder system (letter and voicemail/text) were really helpful.

1 year on I am fitter than I have been for 10 years with no complications (other than I now tick like a clock because of the mechanical valve!) and I am extremely grateful both for the skill and actions of the staff team involved but also becuse of the reassuring and very human way in which they cared for me and my family at a stressful time. There is a great service provided by volunteers from the British Heart Foundation who work alongside the hospital staff - if anyone has any queries or needs leaflets/advice they are happy to provide and the 2 that I met had both undergone heart surgery so knew first hand what the process was like. Hope this is helpful to anyone who is concerned and needs any reassurance.

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