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
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
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. organdonation.nhs.uk.
■ BIG DAY: Ross Swift and his daughter Hayley on her wedding day
Photo by Laura Crouchley