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Uncertain future for Newent stroke victim as doubt surrounds heart op waiting list

By The Citizen  |  Posted: August 27, 2014

Mike Hutchins is waiting for a heart operation on the NHS after suffering a stroke in 2013

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Stroke victim Mike Hutchings fears he may never work again after revealing he has been forced to wait in line for a life changing NHS heart operation due to a funding shortage.

Mike, 42, was hit by the crippling incident in February last year and hospitalised for twelve days.

He lost mobility down his right side and has struggled to walk since.

Doctors diagnosed the stroke was caused by the same hole in the heart condition as that suffered by teen Carla Maclean and Michelle Hanman. All three have been diagnosed with Patent Foramen Ovale.

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Both women have spoken about their wait for an op and are considering paying the £16,000 fee to complete the procedure privately.

They share the same cardiologist in Bristol, Dr Mark Turner, who has told they each need the operation to help prevent related health issues like strokes in future. 

Mike’s wife, Rachel, said the uncertainty surrounding his future has been tough to deal with.

“Mike didn’t have any symptoms at first,” she said.

“He just awoke one Saturday and he couldn’t feel his leg. He had pins and needles and thought it was normal.

“He was then sick and went very pale and breathless. I called an ambulance for him and he was taken into A&E. The doctors said he had a minor stroke.

“They checked him over and were ready to send him home, but his face dropped and his speech was impaired. “They kept him in for more tests and an MRI scan that revealed a cerebellum stroke.

“His brain was damaged and he had to spend the next twelve days in hospital.

“Mike had to learn to feed himself and to walk, he still hasn't got the full use of his right arm and still limps.”

Mike, a van driver from Newent, went to see Dr Turner in Bristol and he was told he had a very large hole in his heart but there was limited NHS funding for the op to repair it.

Rachel added: “Mike was an active dad who used to take his daughter Summer swimming and ice skating. That has all been put on hold now.

“He will never be the same man.

“He can’t drive or write so we don’t know what he will be able to do in future.”

A review into how PFO operations are funded is due to be reviewed later this year.

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  • gruesome  |  August 27 2014, 6:23PM

    Pity Mike isn't a health tourist. He'd be treated straight away at no cost to him.

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