Fabio-lous for sav­ing my man

Cou­ple name baby after life-sav­ing heart op sur­geon

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - by Will Ack­er­mann will.ack­er­mann@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

A TRIATH­LETE who suf­fered mul­ti­ple heart at­tacks and ‘died’ six times has named his first-born child after the sur­geon who saved him.

An­drew Brit­ton, 34, was on his hon­ey­moon in the Mal­dives when his heart first failed.

After be­ing treated lo­cally, the keen run­ner – who had been fight­ing fit be­fore the hon­ey­moon – was flown to Hare­field Hos­pi­tal, where he stayed for nearly a year be­fore re­ceiv­ing a trans­plant.

Now his wife Lau­ren has given birth to the cou­ple’s first child, de­spite hav­ing been told Mr Brit­ton’s med­i­ca­tion might have left him in­fer­tile.

The cou­ple gave their son Frank the mid­dle name Fabio – after Mr Brit­ton’s heart sur­geon, Fabio De Rober­tis.

Mrs Brit­ton, 34, said: “He’s a very in­spir­ing and amaz­ing per­son. All the staff at Hare­field are fan­tas­tic, but it would have been a bit weird if we’d called him Hare­field.”

Mr Brit­ton ini­tially thought he was suf­fer­ing with food poi­son­ing, or a hang­over, when he be­came ill in 2012.

Mrs Brit­ton called for a doc­tor, who put him on a drip, but it be­came clear more was needed.

The cou­ple, who live in Hare­field, took a boat to the near­est hos­pi­tal, where doc­tors found Mr Brit­ton’s heart rate was 200 beats per minute.

He was se­dated, given de­fib­ril­la­tor shocks and warned he could die if not taken to a spe­cial­ist within 24 hours.

Mr Brit­ton, a project man­ager for In­ter­Con­ti­nen­tal Ho­tels, was flown to Thai­land and placed on life support for two weeks.

Once Mr Brit­ton was sta­ble enough to fly home he was taken to Hare­field Hos­pi­tal, where he was di­ag­nosed with my­ocardi­tis, in­flam­ma­tion of the heart mus­cle, which is nor­mally caused by a vi­ral in­fec­tion. Only then did he learn he had suf­fered six heart at­tacks.

He was fit­ted with a pace­maker and de­fib­ril­la­tor be­fore leav­ing the Hill End Road hos­pi­tal. But seven weeks later he col­lapsed and had to be read­mit­ted for open heart surgery.

In Septem­ber 2013, a donor heart was found and he was able to leave hos­pi­tal in Novem­ber the same year.

Mrs Brit­ton dis­cov­ered she was preg­nant a month later, which she called a ‘mir­a­cle’. She has writ­ten a book ti­tled Strength in Strangers. It costs £1.99 at Ama­zon.co.uk, with pro­ceeds go­ing to the hos­pi­tal.

DIED SIX TIMES: An­drew Brit­ton and his wife Lau­ren, both 34 and from Hare­field, have named their new­born baby boy after the ‘in­spi­ra­tional’ sur­geon who saved Mr Brit­ton’s life

Con­trib­uted

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