It was just another Monday morning in December 2018, going to work at 5am is never easy but this time I didn't feel well, but that was how I normally felt so off to work I went, getting out of the car I felt like my coat was still in the car door as I attempted to walk, I was having a heart attack and didn't even know it until I sat down and wham.....999.......sixth stent fitted at 57, it was so difficult to take in, the feeling of not being in control of what was happening to me and the constant mental reliving of the heart attack crashed my mental state to tears and a very low ebb.

Sandwell rehab referred me to Walsall Heart Care as it's where I live, I had been here twice before, in the past I thought being relatively young that it wasn't for me after all old people have heart attacks don't they...yes they do and this time so do did I at 57, this was serious!!!

What a blessing Heart Care has proved to be, before, I had the opinion that it was very clinical with nurses and staff who treated you with indifference, the problem was I treated the whole experience with indifference, the staff reached out to me but I only half grasped the help they offered, this time is a whole lot different, I love them, they greet me by name as I greet them too, (how lovely that even though they see many patients a day, week or month they take the time to remember my name).

I was offered counselling at Heart Care for my mental scars from the heart attack but also historical childhood issues too, I am not saying this will work for everyone but in just two sessions with a box of tissues at hand I was able to leave my childhood issue with the councillor and deal with the current issue......what a relief!......13 weeks on and I haven't fell to pieces at the mention of NSTEMI not once, I teach first aid so you can imagine how many times heart attack gets mentioned.

Back to the exercise, it's great that after the initial assessment the programme is tailored to the patients ability, of course I wanted to be able to run a marathon before I could walk fast for 17 mins, as the weeks have gone by my weight has come down, my fitness has come up, I have even signed up for the local 5k Parkrun (don't know how much of that is actually going to be a walk) and I attempt couch to 5k, how have I got there? Easy, attend Walsall Heart Care where there is a team of professionals who truly care about YOU (and me).

I am signing up for aftercare, not because of the use of equipment or that you can run indoors when it's cold outside but because there is a team of staff who care about me and other patients always motivate me and likewise are motivated by the youngster fighting against a poorly heart just like them.  I feel totally at home with the Heart Care family.

With your kind donations we can continue to help more and more people like Steve to recover from heart disease so that they can get back to a normal healthy lifestyle! 

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