My story…..

My story – Mr Mike Morgan.

Mike worked for a company doing research of Literacy in Wales. In August 2004 he was working in Caernarfon, North Wales when he began to feel unwell. Mike takes up the story

I had finished work for the day and was preparing for the long drive back to Tredegar.

It was a warm day and I decided to buy a bottle of water ready for the journey home. It was around 4pm when I came out of the shop and started to feel strange. I remember my head being thrown backwards twice.

I was told later when I woke up in Bangor Hospital that a Paramedic was passing the shop saw me collapse and gave me a shock. At the hospital a Doctor had found my ID Chain and my mobile phone and rang my daughter to tell her that her dad was in hospital. Unbelievably,the hospital didn’t do any tests although they stated that they thought my heart had stopped twice.  They told me not to drive myself home!

Tredegar is 300 miles from Bangor.

My son and daughter drove up to Bangor to collect me. On the Monday I visited my local GP.

My GP (who was excellent) told me not to drive until after I had seen a Cardiologist at Neville Hall Hospital. I met Dr Tony Davies at Nevill Hall Hospital who said that he needed to carry out an Echo scan. After the test was complete he gathered my family and told us that I was very likely have another attack which would be prolonged and I would not survive this attack. I was admitted onto the Cardiac Care unit and was told that I would need to go to the Heath Hospital to meet a Mr Peter O’Callaghan urgently.

The following day I was transferred to the Heath where I had an angiogram to check for blockages in/around the heart.

On Wednesday 10th August, Peter O’Callaghan requested that all my family come to the hospital as he needed to speak to them urgently. The news wasn’t very good on a scale from 1 to 10 my condition was a 9 ½. I was told I was ill but felt fine. The information began to get worse in that I was told that if I had another attack the next time I might not be so lucky. It was recommended that I had an ICD fitted. This operation was then delayed due to my having a lump on my back which needed to be removed. The resulting wound would need to heal before I had the ICD fitted.

This meant I could not go home because if I had another attack I would die but couldn’t have the ICD fitted until I had the lump on my back removed. I was then put on a monitor for the next six weeks. I could not get out of bed, no showering or using the toilet. It was decided that on the Saturday 30th August (Bank Holiday) that the lump would be removed, but the doctor could not use anaesthetic because they were unsure how this would affect my condition. I then had to wait for the wound to heal and on the 21st

September 2004 I had my ICD fitted. Mr O’Callaghan wanted to find out why I was having these blackouts, and wanted to run some tests. I underwent a turntable test, Neurological test, diagnosis I had was Epilepsy but then that idea was withdrawn. The final diagnosis was made by Neil Austin (not the Million Dollar Man) that they thought it could be the brain rejecting the ICD. I was taken off the Epilepsy medication.

Many people ask me has my ICD gone off – and the reply is Yes. I experienced one shock after another that the ICD aborted after 5 shocks. I was taken to Prince Charles Hospital where the staff (at the time) did not know anything about ICD’s. So it is important that all family and friends know as much as they can about your ICD, so that if you are not in any fit state to tell the hospital at least they can. I had the box changed in April 2010 and that was a straight forward procedure – I went in at 8am and was back home at 6pm. I felt well enough the following day to go out and about.

Every individuals experience is different. Gwent Defibbers is here to ensure that all their members get as much information about ICD’s to help support them, their family, friends and to educate the public.

If you would like to contact Mike to discuss any issues you may have please do not hesitate to give him a call on 01495 711658.