Sixty-something Roger Davies was a very fit man, having previously taken part in the Tough Guy race and other endurance events. He was feeling fine as he was powering towards 10,000m on a rowing machine during a daily fitness session, then the next moment he found himself lying on the floor.
Roger felt a pain in his chest, which initially made him think he’d pulled a muscle. But the pain soon led to a complete loss of energy. Roger was rushed to hospital with what was eventually diagnosed as a severe angina attack, a condition caused by a temporary reduction in the blood flow to the heart muscle.
At St Georges Hospital in London, doctors identified that the angina was caused by coronary artery disease (CAD) – where the blood vessels serving the heart become narrow or blocked, leading to an inadequate supply of blood to the heart. There are 1.5 million people in the UK who have coronary artery disease and 300,000 people every year have a heart attack.
Roger recalls: “My heart problem was a bolt out of the blue. Like most people I didn’t think it would happen to me.”
How Endeavour Helped Roger
Once diagnosed with CAD, Roger underwent an operation to fit a Medtronic Endeavour drug eluting coronary stent.
A coronary stent is a tiny, expandable mesh tube made of metal. Roger’s operation involved the stent being mounted onto a tiny balloon and inserted into the coronary artery using a small wire. Once in position the balloon is inflated and the stent becomes miniature scaffolding for the artery, allowing blood to flow more freely into the heart.
After the operation Roger was quickly back pushing himself to the limits. His experience shows having coronary artery disease and getting a stent fitted does not have to get in the way of what you want to do with life.
Roger took his doctor’s advice to stay active and moderate his diet seriously. Just over twelve months after his angina attack he set out on a 350-mile foot race to the North Pole.
The following year, he followed up with another ambitious charity adventure, joining a small team to row non-stop from London to Paris.
Roger concludes: “Thanks to the treatment I have received I am able to challenge myself mentally and physically and continue to achieve my goals and live life to the full.”
Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.