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Lucky to be alive Rowley Regis man becomes NHS poster boy
2:38pm Tuesday 17th September 2013 in Local
A LUCKY to be alive pensioner from Rowley Regis is the poster boy for a new national screening programme after he was diagnosed with potentially fatal condition.
Former metal worker Anthony Nicholls was the first patient identified and treated at Queen Elizabeth Hospital after having an abdominal aortic aneurysm diagnosed under the NHS screening programme.
The 65-year-old has since undergone an operation to treat the aneurysm using a ‘keyhole’ technique known as Endovascular repair and is said to be recovering well.
He said: “I could be dead now and I wouldn’t have known anything about it!”
“I haven’t been to hospital before, and I wasn’t going to go for this screening because I didn’t really know what it was all about. I even said to my missus on the night before ‘shall I go or not’?
“She left it to me, but in the morning I decided I would go, and didn’t even tell her I had gone.
“But I’m so glad I went because they wouldn’t have found this thing if I’d stayed at home.”
He added: “I was as shocked as anyone when they told me as I hadn’t had any pain or discomfort so the aneurysm would have stayed there without me knowing.
“Because of my experience I would advise other men to have the screening straight away. It’s certainly made a big difference to my life.”
The UK-wide NHS Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm programme aims to reduce the number of deaths from burst aneurysms as approximately 6,000 people die in England and Wales.
Mr Alok Tiwari, consultant vascular surgeon at QEHB, said: “As part of the national screening programme, everyone who has turned 65 or nearing this age is invited to have an ultrasound of their abdomen.
“A lot of people don’t know they have an aneurym until it bursts and they either die from it or need an emergency operation.”
For more information about the new screening scheme phone 0121 424 3612 or 0121 424 1200.
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