Craig Whittaker MP, yesterday met with constituent Lewis Benn, who earlier this year was treated for heart valve disease thanks to the use of an innovative treatment call TAVI.
Heart valve disease affects nearly 1.5 million over 65s in the UK. Despite its prevalence, awareness of the signs and symptoms of this serious condition remains low.
Lewis, who was diagnosed in 2019, was due to receive his treatment in March this year. However, his treatment was postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Lewis’s condition continued to deteriorate, and he required an intervention. Thanks to Dr Dan Blackman and the team at Leeds Hospital, Lewis was able to receive a TAVI treatment and was discharged the very next day.
This non-invasive alternative to open-heart surgery reduces patients hospital stays and risk of infection, and has allowed many clinical teams to continue to treat patients timely and safely during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Craig Whittaker, MP for Calder Valley said:
“Treatment options like Lewis’s are an invaluable resource for the NHS as they reduce hospital admissions and allows trusts to continue to treat. Lewis’s story is inspirational, and his work as a patient advocate for Heart Valve Voice since his treatment serves to remind us of the valuable contribution our over 65s make to our communities.
I am also encouraged to see how amidst the pressures of COVID-19, heart teams have adapted their practices to ensure they can maximise treatment capacity. From this challenge best practices have emerged that, with the support of organisations like Heart Valve Voice, will improve future diagnosis and treatment and enable the NHS to work through growing waiting lists efficiently.
I encourage everyone to think about the signs and symptoms of heart valve disease, and if they or their loved ones are experiencing breathlessness, dizziness or fatigue, contact your GP and ask for a stethoscope check.”
Lewis has now recovered from his treatment and is volunteering with the patient organisation, Heart Valve Voice, to promote the signs and symptoms of heart valve disease and raise awareness of the condition.
Lewis Benn, said:
“My advice to people is you’ve got to put your life in the hands of the people who know what they’re doing. I did, and now I feel I can breathe again. The team were amazing; they deserve the world.”
To find out more about heart valve disease or Heart Valve Voice, visit their website at www.heartvalvevoice.com or watch the video here.