Date Posted: 25th November 2019
I’m 41 years of age and have always been reasonably athletic. In school, I was a keen rugby player and swimmer. I competed at a local level in swimming until 16, when I decided to concentrate on rugby. I played Flanker but occasionally in the centre too. I stopped playing rugby around the age of 26 due to several ankle injuries and work commitments. I still enjoy watching rugby and my rugby heroes include Jonah Lomu and Richie Macaw. I then spent several years just going to the gym occasionally but not really remaining what I would consider “fit and healthy”. After starting a family and as I got older, I became more aware of my health. I remember feeling the need to watch my weight, so I decided to try and eat a more balanced diet and increase my exercise levels.
I started off by taking up running and in 2012 aged 34 I ran my first half marathon in Llanelli. In 2013 I continued with a few half marathons then did my first Triathlon at Porthcawl. It was a short distance swim, cycle and run. I was hooked. After a few years, I found myself wanting to push myself to do longer distances. I ran with two colleagues, 42 miles from Swansea to Cardiff to raise funds for “Team Evsy”. The money raised went to Velindre cancer centre. I have completed a few marathons and four Ironman Triathlons (2.4-mile swim, 112 miles cycle and a 26.2 mile Marathon). The training and racing keeps me fit and healthy.
After recently learning that there is a family history of heart issues, coupled with the tragic news of seemingly fit and healthy people passing away during or soon after some races and as I was pushing my body to complete longer distances I felt I should get a check-up. I had also noticed that I was having some occasional heart rate spikes during my activities which I found unusual.
I chose St Joe’s Hospital in Newport as it was highly recommended by a family member, no waiting times, and they have state-of-the-art facilities. I don’t think anyone can put a price on health, so it wasn’t a factor for me.
It was a very positive experience. The staff were friendly and professional. The hospital was spotless and had a nice atmosphere about it. It reminded me of walking into a very nice hotel rather than a hospital. There was a very short waiting time from booking the appointment to receiving the scans. After the MRI scans were completed, the results were made known to me within a couple of days.
The results were positive with the report saying my heart and lungs were fit and healthy with no negative findings. I can now carry on my training and look forward to my next race (Newport Marathon in April 2020) without the worry in my mind over my heart health.
I would definitely recommend the service to anyone, especially those who have had any symptoms, have a family history of heart problems or are merely pushing their bodies hard in training or racing.
“Whilst we cannot predict the future, the high-end MRI and CT scanner technology available at St Joseph’s Hospital helps us to provide the most accurate imaging data possible to assist in the diagnosis of potentially high-risk cardiovascular disease. Our cardiac analysis not only may provide the welcome reassurance that our patients are seeking, but may also facilitate best medical therapy, advice and appropriate clinical follow-up in order to reduce future risk.”
Jane Carpanini, Director of Diagnostics, explains, “At St Joseph's we are fortunate to have a dedicated team of highly-qualified, experienced radiographers with access to exceptional quality scanning technology. The quality of our scans are highly commended by our Consultant Radiologists and Cardiologists. It is due to the capability of our CT and MRI scanners and expertise of our staff that we are able to offer a fully comprehensive superior service from referral to results in 24 hours."
St Joseph's One Stop Cardiac Centre provides same-day comprehensive assessment and diagnostic testing. If you have any concerns about the health of your heart or would like to find out more visit St Joseph's Centre of Excellence for Cardiology or call 01633 820301.