The high life

The Galloway News - - INTIMATIONS - An­drew McNair

An 81- year- old for­mer Rhone­house man cel­e­brated his re­cov­ery from a heart valve trans­plant by climb­ing his favourite Ste­warty hill.

James Lit­tle was the 1,000th pa­tient to re­ceive a Tran­scatheter Aor­tic Valve Im­plant through a rev­o­lu­tion­ary new op­er­a­tion at Leeds Gen­eral In­fir­mary ear­lier this year.

The pro­ce­dure, which re­places open heart surgery, worked won­ders for the now Har­ro­gate res­i­dent who had pre­vi­ously strug­gled with the Barsto­brick walk to Neil­son’s mon­u­ment.

He said: “My re­cov­ery has been bet­ter than I thought.

“I can walk longer dis­tances and a lot quicker. I feel as if I’m back to nor­mal and it is such a relief not to have to take all my med­i­ca­tion any more.”

His wife Maureen added: “He found the walk a lot eas­ier this time.

“As a boy, he and his many brothers and sis­ters played up that way so it’s al­ways been spe­cial to him.

“He’s bril­liant – never been bet­ter – since the op­er­a­tion.

“We are all very happy with how it went.

“The op­er­a­tion was in­stead of open heart surgery.

“He was the 1,000th per­son to get the clin­i­cal trial at the hospi­tal which is try­ing to prove key­hole surgery is as safe for some pro­ce­dures.”

The News fea­tured James and his not so lit­tle fam­ily last year on his 80th birth­day when his eight brothers and sis­ters gath­ered in the vil­lage for a party.

The sib­lings – who all have a com­bined age of more than 650 – cel­e­brated in the vil­lage hall with many of James’ for­mer school­mates.

James’ wife said: “It was a bril­liant lunch and peo­ple came from far and wide. It was a real vil­lage do.

“James is the el­dest with Hugh the youngest at 64, who is due to re­tire soon.

“Quite a few live lo­cally but we live down south. James was in the RAF and we’ve also lived in Amer­ica and Berlin.

“We all get to­gether as much as we can and we’ve started this tra­di­tion of tak­ing a fam­ily photo.”

At the top Dou­glas Lit­tle, 67, James Lit­tle, 81, Bill Lit­tle, 74, and Hugh Bail­lie, 74

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