Cath lab campaign rings home for Hynes
The Cath Lab campaign is a heartfelt one for Independent Wexford councillor David Hynes who had a quadruple by-pass operation seven years ago.
Cllr. Hynes travelled on the train to Dublin for last week's public protest outside Dáil Eireann which called on the Department of Health to provide 24/7 cardiac care facilities for the South East at University Hospital Waterford.
The campaign was sparked by the recent death of 40-year old Thomas Power who suffered chest pains and died of a heart attack in an ambulance on the way to hospital in Cork after initially attending Waterford Hospital where he couldn't treated because the cath lab is not open at weekends.
Cllr. Hynes said he felt deeply for the family of Mr. Power who was tragically one of the unlucky ones. Thomas's widow Bernadette, a daughter of former Garda Superintendent Michael Delaney is from Wexford.
'I'm one of the people with personal experience of the service,' said Cllr. Hynes who suffered a heart attack over a weekend in 2010.
'I'm one of the lucky ones who were caught on time. We all know how vital the first hour is', he said.
'I was walking around for two days with the onset of a heart attack. It was after Christmas in the week before New Year. I didn't feel well but I was putting it down to everything else. You don't always get a violent pain. I had more of a numbness in my chest and arms'.
'I kept saying I must go to the doctor but I didn't. My wife and I went out for a meal and afterwards I thought it was indigestion. It faded a bit that night but the following night it got worse and we rang the Caredoc. We were advised to ring an ambulance to go to Wexford General Hospital. We don't live far from the hospital so my wife drove me.'
'I was still doubting it was anything to do with my heart but in the hospital, it was confirmed very quickly that it was a heart attack I was having and I had just got there on time,' said Cllr. Hynes.
'I was kept in overnight in Wexford Hospital where they stabilised my symptoms and they sent me down to the cath lab in Waterford on Monday to see if I could get away with having stents installed but they discovered that the blockage was too severe. At the time, I wasn't even aware that I couldn't get tested over the weekend.'
'A few days later, I was transferred to the Mater Hospital in Dublin for the by-pass surgery. I am lucky to be alive at all.'
Cllr. Hynes said the cath lab protest was an important one.
'I was lucky in that in my case, it all happened very slowly but if someone has a heart attack it can happen in minutes. The first hour can be a matter of life and death and that's why a cath lab is vital.'
'That was seven years ago now and I'm doing well. I'm able to walk a lot. I have no high blood pressure. I have to take medication for cholesterol and also a blood thinning tablet. I always get checked out every year now.'