Wednesday 10th May 2017
Ishtiaq M Ahmed, Consultant Cardiac Surgeon, Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, shares with us what he thinks will be the highlight of the cycle tour.
I’m really excited to be a part of the Heart Valve Voice cycle team. It’s going to be a great adventure and challenge to cycle together all the way from London to Paris and one that I am excited to get started on. For me, this ride not only represents how important it is to raise awareness about heart valve disease, but also represents how important our patients are who have embarked on the life changing treatment we can provide for the disease.
One of the highlights of this tour for me will be having the chance to catch up with one such patient, Steve Langton who will be there to wave us off after our stop in Brighton. After working with the Royal Military Police in the Special Investigation Branch and teaching Aikido in his spare time, it was fair to say that Steve led quite an active life. When he noticed he was getting breathless and slowing down, he assumed it was just a result of getting older. When he started to feel chest pains and tingling sensations in his arms, he knew he needed to seek out help. He was eventually diagnosed with aortic regurgitation and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
When Steve came to see me, his condition was not good. I explained that unless we treated his leaky valve, he would only have a 50% chance of making it more than five years. As Steve lived a very full life, this was not what he wanted to hear. We performed a minimally invasive aortic valve replacement on Steve and the treatment was a great success. Steve is back to being a very busy man and his health has significantly improved.
I am really looking forward to catching up with Steve and seeing how he is doing with his recovery. Not only is it invaluable to me to see that my patients are experiencing an improved quality of life, it is also very helpful getting feedback from them that I can use to help me provide the best care possible for my future patients.