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Giving Back After Heart Surgery

“The Last Thing I Thought Was That It Was Anything To Do With The Heart. I Had No Risk Factors, No Family History Of Heart Disease And Exercised Regularly.”

Man with glasses leaning against a table smiling at the camera with arms folded

Michael Allford is not your typical heart patient but thanks to some excellent care informed by world-class research, he’s walking proof you can bounce back from heart surgery and live a full and active life.

Living in Sydney in 2002, Michael was a fit 56-year-old who ate well and exercised regularly. When he started feeling tightness in his left pec, he attributed the pain to his aerobics and thought massage or physio sessions would sort it out.

When this wasn’t helping, a recommendation from his physio to see a GP was lifesaving.

“The last thing I thought was that it was anything to do with the heart. I had no risk factors, no family history of heart disease and exercised regularly,” Michael said.

“I had a heap of tests and then saw a cardiologist, who said I was a very unusual case. He recommended an angiogram where they inject dye into the bloodstream to see what happens, and it showed I had a blockage in my left anterior descending artery and would require a bypass.

“I had a single bypass which was a two hour operation to replace the artery with a mammary artery. A stent wasn’t an option for me at the time. I received the very best of care and I’ve barely had an issue since.”

In 2007 Michael retired and moved to Adelaide where he continues to live a healthy lifestyle and go to the gym five mornings a week!

He receives excellent follow-up care from the cardiology team at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital and has been well cared for at the hospital in other areas too.

“I’ve found the public hospital system to be so thorough. It’s very collaborative and they try to get to the bottom of everything.

“I’ve seen cardiologists and oncologists – they are all fantastic.”

As a way of saying thank you for the great care he receives and ensuring research can progress to help even more people in the future, Michael makes regular donations to heart research.

Do you want to join Michael in the fight against heart disease? Monthly donations are the easiest way you can help provide consistent support to help our researchers beat this heartbreaking disease. Click here to join our community of Heart Heroes or call (08) 8244 0591.