STEADY TICK: Heart pump en­ables man to give his daugh­ter away

First per­son to be fit­ted with pump re­alises his dream of at­tend­ing fam­ily wed­ding

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By Han­nah Raven han­nah.raven@trin­i­tymir­

A HARE­FIELD Hos­pi­tal heart fail­ure pa­tient was able to walk his daugh­ter down the aisle af­ter be­com­ing the first per­son to be fit­ted with a pump.

Fa­ther-of-two Ross Swift, 54, had the Sun­shine Heart C-Pulse Heart As­sist Sys­tem im­planted at the hos­pi­tal in Hill End Road just in time to be at Hay­ley’s side on her big day.

Mr Swift is the first UK pa­tient to join a Euro­pean study look­ing at the long-term im­pact of the C-Pulse sys­tem on pa­tients with heart fail­ure.

He suf­fered a near­fa­tal car­diac ar­rest in 2002 while on hol­i­day with Hay­ley, his wife Paula and son Matthew.

He had a num­ber of stents fit­ted and has been treated for sev­eral years with med­i­ca­tion, but has been un­able to work or have an ac­tive life.

His con­di­tion steadily wors­ened and he be­came house-bound, but in June Mr Ross had the lifechang­ing op­er­a­tion.

An­dré Si­mon, direc­tor of trans­plan­ta­tion at Royal Bromp­ton and Hare­field NHS Foun­da­tion Trust, talked Mr Swift and his fam­ily through the op­er­a­tion and ex­plained he would be the first ever per­son to have the de­vice fit­ted.

“I wanted to walk my daugh­ter down the aisle,” said Mr Swift.

“She’s been a rock for our fam­ily through all of this and I wanted to be there for her.”

The op­er­a­tion was a suc­cess.

“Im­me­di­ately I could tell there was a dif­fer­ence,” he said.

“When I breathed, it felt clearer. I had more colour in my face and my fam­ily said my at­ti­tude changed.

“I feel more pos­i­tive.”

Mr Swift, from Devon, said he can fi­nally do the day-to-day ac­tiv­i­ties which used to wear him out.

“Of course, having to carry the box around is not easy and I haven’t for­got­ten that I am still wait­ing for a trans­plant.

“But af­ter I had the op­er­a­tion, Mr Si­mon came in to see me and said ‘ you’re part of the fam­ily now’. That meant a lot.

“The team at Hare­field is con­stantly look­ing at how to make the sit­u­a­tion bet­ter for me.”

Mr Swift proudly walked Hay­ley down the aisle on

Walk­ing my daugh­ter down the aisle was some­thing a few months ago we didn’t be­lieve

was pos­si­ble”

Satur­day, Au­gust 9 and the fol­low­ing day cel­e­brated his grand­daugh­ter’s first birth­day.

He said: “The wed­ding was amaz­ing.

“Ev­ery­body was cry­ing know­ing what we had been through.

“Walk­ing my daugh­ter down the aisle was some­thing a few months ago we didn’t be­lieve was pos­si­ble.”

Up to 50 pa­tients across Europe will be im­planted with the heart as­sist de­vice in the study.

The C-Pulse sys­tem is in­tended to treat pa­tients with less se­vere, though se­ri­ous, heart fail­ure symp­toms, who may not be suit­able for a me­chan­i­cal heart pump.

An in­flat­able cuff is placed around the main artery aris­ing from the heart and a heart­beat sen­sor wire is placed on the heart.

A ‘bal­loon’ is con­nected to a tube, which con­nects to a bat­tery-pow­ered source that is car­ried by the pa­tient in a bag. Dur­ing the rest­ing phase of the heart­beat, the cuff in­flates, com­press­ing the aorta and im­prov­ing blood flow to the heart mus­cle.

Im­me­di­ately prior to ejec­tion of blood by the heart, the cuff de­flates, re­duc­ing the work­load of the heart.

In 2011, Mr Swift was fit­ted with a small de­vice to help treat his dan­ger­ously ab­nor­mal heart rhythm.

But ear­lier this year his con­sul­tant told him his only op­tion was a heart trans­plant.

Ross was re­ferred to Hare­field Hos­pi­tal and fol­low­ing his first ap­point­ment in March 2014 he was im­me­di­ately put on the trans­plant list.

To be­come an or­gan donor visit www. or­gan­do­na­

■ BIG DAY: Ross Swift and his daugh­ter Hay­ley on her wed­ding day

Photo by Laura Crouch­ley

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