Patient’s zest for life inspires medics

The team looking after Peggy Gair at Lancashire Cardiac Unit: Sister Bev Darley, Health Care Assistant, Ryan Anthony, Advanced Practitioner, Philip McAdam and Surgeon Registrar, Mr Abdelrahman Abdelbar

Peggy Gair is 91 next month and she’s certainly not about to let a global pandemic or a faulty heart valve get in her way!

Just days after undergoing aortic valve surgery Peggy is up and about and ready to be discharged from the Lancashire Cardiac Unit based at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

“I had been feeling breathless for quite a while and my sister said I should get it checked out. I had had rheumatic fever as a child and that causes damage to your heart,” Peggy explained. “I was a bit worried about seeking medical help because of the Coronavirus and I had put my condition down to old age.”

But her family persuaded her to go and her doctor astutely referred her straight to her local hospital in Blackburn for tests.

From there she was brought to the Cardiac Unit to replace a narrowed aortic valve, a procedure that was carried out by Mr Zacharias and his cardiothoracic team.

“I was so wrong to be afraid of the virus or surgery,” Peggy said. “Everything is so safe and spotlessly clean; all my fears about Coronavirus just disappeared.

“Every member of the team in Blackpool has been wonderful, kind, considerate and compassionate. They have made such a fuss of me.

“I would not hesitate to tell anyone who is suffering from a medical condition to come into this hospital, it is clean, safe and has the most wonderful medical and ward staff. I would recommend Mr Zacharias to anyone, he is a wonderful surgeon.

And Peggy’s recovery has amazed the staff, who say her recovery and outlook on life is inspirational. Just a few days after surgery Peggy was mobile and ready to be discharged a week later.

Cardiothoracic Advanced Practitioner, Philip McAdam, said Peggy’s outcome was: “a sign of her determination and zest for life. She is truly inspirational in the way she has come through this surgery so successfully and recovered in such a short amount of time.”

Philip explained the valve replacement procedure was done as minimal access surgery which allows for easier recovery.

“Peggy sought medical assistance when she needed it and we were able to carry out the necessary surgical procedure which will give her back a good quality of life.

“We would urge people with new or acute symptoms to seek proper medical help and not be afraid about Coronavirus.

“This hospital is COVID-19 safe and all precautions are in place and being adhered to,” Philip added.

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