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Couple thank Wrexham & Flintshire Cardiac team who helped kick-start their healthy lifestyle that saw them shed 10 stone between them

A Flintshire couple have thanked NHS staff after they lost almost 10 stone between them with the help of the Wrexham & Flintshire Cardiac Service.

Andrew Bibby was diagnosed with heart failure after collapsing at home in 2016 and received treatment at Glan Clwyd Hospital, and later at the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital.

Andrew, 59, was referred to the Cardiac Rehabilitation Service, who support people who have had a cardiac event, such as a heart attack, stent, coronary artery or heart failure, and began a 12 week programme which incorporated exercise and diet advice.

This was the start of a new healthy lifestyle for Andrew and his wife, Carole, who has also lost four stone through joining her husband at the gym at Jade Jones Pavilion in Flint.

“When I was referred to the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital I was put on the list for a Cardiac ablation, a procedure to scar or destroy the tissue in my heart that was causing an abnormal heart rhythm.

“I had already started the programme with the team and I was told by my consultant it would be best if I could lose some more weight before the procedure.

“As I was already enjoying the exercising I set myself a challenge to get to down to my goal weight with the support of my wife who was also keen to lose weight.

“It has completely changed our lives, we now go to the gym every day as well as completely changing our diet,” said Andrew.

Andrew reached his goal weight of 93 kilos by May 2019 and his ablation procedure was a success.

He added: “We are extremely grateful to the NHS, the cardiac team kick-started our new healthy lifestyle and the support we had from them was superb.

“The team at the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital were outstanding and I’ll be forever grateful to the care I have received there.

“Our life is brilliant now, we feel so much healthier and fitter and we really wanted to thank the Cardiac Rehab team for everything they do.

“When you have a health scare and it’s to do with your heart, exercising can seem very daunting. The Cardiac team put you at ease straight away and go through each exercise with you to make sure you’re comfortable.

“We can never repay them for what they have done for us – they have completely changed our lives.

“Myself and Carole recently met with the Cardiac team to thank them, we are both amazed how supportive and caring the team were with all the patients.”

Jessica Norman, Cardiac Rehabilitation Advanced Nurse, said: “Our service is quite complex incorporating a multidisciplinary team of specialist nurses, physios, exercise physiologists, dietician, pharmacist, and occupational therapists, so that we can support people following their event regardless of their complex needs, and ultimately reduce their risk of further events.

“We also offer education sessions before or after our exercise sessions in all sites, which rotate every 8 weeks, including diet advice, information on medication, exercise and general wellbeing.

“We are extremely proud of Andrew for what he has achieved and also Carole, who has also seen the benefits of what a change in lifestyle can do.

“It was really emotional to see them both again and I’d like to thank them for the kind feedback and wish them all the best in the future.”