Margaret is in her 70’s and lives in Salford. She started attending our Healthy Heart Club in September 2011 after seeing one of our leaflets. Margaret’s husband had recently passed away and she was feeling very lonely, isolated and suffering from depression. After telephoning Salford Heart Care to find out about the sessions, Margaret agreed to come along so she could find out more information.
Margaret was initially apprehensive about attending a group because she had no friends and felt alone, despite living in the area for a long time. However, as soon as she arrived, one of our long-standing members took M “under her wing” and looked after her. Margaret was introduced to the group and began attending the sessions on a regular basis.
Margaret loves dancing, tai chi and the relaxation sessions and regularly takes part in the activities that are organised. She feels that she now has a good social life again and a close circle of friends to talk to at the group, including male companions. She encourages other people to attend the sessions and takes on the role of “carer” for many of them during the sessions.
Margaret really enjoys the social activities that are organised and attends all the parties, day trips and social events. She has also won many of our fancy dress competitions!
Margaret agreed to take part in our weight management sessions and her recorded weight on signing up in 2011 was 172 lbs, categorising her as “very overweight” with a BMI of 32.5. Margaret continued to be weighed on a regular basis and her weight remained fairly stable for the first 12 months. However, early this year we identified that Margaret’s weight was dropping rapidly, and we became very concerned. Margaret informed us that she was having frequent bouts of sickness and we advised her to consult her doctor immediately. Margaret’s weight dropped from 172 lbs in 2011 to 136 lbs in December 2013 (a total loss of 36 lbs, or 2 and a half stones – now classed as a healthy BMI). Margaret was admitted to hospital on several occasions for investigation and has now had surgery to remove gall stones. Fortunately, Margaret’s health is beginning to improve and her weight seems to have stabilised. She now hopes to maintain a healthy BMI and continues to attend the club regularly.
Mr J from Salford aged 62
Mr J had a cardiac arrest in 2004 followed by a stroke 6 months later. He joined SHC the same year and was impressed by the friendly welcome he received and the connections to other former patients who had experienced similar problems. His life changed for the better having been referred to the healthy eating classes, exercise classes, drop-ins and holistic therapies as well as the trips out. As a result of joining Salford Heart Care he has gained great friends, a new social life and have become a member of several committees which assist with new improvements for new and existing patients with long term conditions
Mr J said, “You are not alone in Salford – there is Salford Heart Care.”
Mr F from Worsley, aged 60
Mr F was in his late fifties when he joined Salford Heart Care. He had numerous health problems, uncontrolled blood sugar levels due to diabetes and high blood pressure. By joining the Relaxation and Stress Management sessions run by the Group, both his blood sugar levels and his blood pressure are now within safe limits and he has also been able to reduce his medication for both these conditions.
Mrs F – early 70’s, from Salford
Mrs F was lucky that she had been fairly healthy prior to her heart attack nearly 4 years ago. Following her discharge from hospital she felt depressed and very anxious. However, following her attendance at the 8 week Phase 3 re-habilitation classes it built up her confidence immensely. At the same time she joined a “health walk”, which was led by a member of Salford Heart Care, and it was during one of these walks Mrs F was told about Salford Heart Care from some of the other walkers.
A couple of weeks later she attended the Eccles drop-in and was surprised to find such a friendly group of people who all had similar experiences of either a heart attack, surgery or both. She felt it was great to be able to discuss problems and anxieties regarding symptoms and medication. On her first visit she enjoyed the Relaxation session and the presentation by one of the hospital pharmacists.
She attends the Eccles drop-ins regularly and also is a health mentor. She enjoys the social events and after the first trip out she enjoyed it so much she felt relaxed and much better and “back in the land of the living.”
Mr M aged 70 from Eccles
Following his retirement at 62 years of age and not wanting to do nothing and stay at home, he saw an advertisement for Salford Heart Care in his local library. Having had a heart attack in 1990, with subsequent angina, he thought it would be worthwhile joining the Group and see how other members coped with their heart conditions. He learned a lot from other members and the presentations by health professionals. He became very involved with the Group, joining the management committee and starting up a health walk group, to give himself and others the opportunity of getting more exercise.
A few years later he had to have surgery for a triple bypass. By speaking to other members in the Group it gave him confidence to see how others had coped having been in the same situation. He felt this contributed to his recovery.
Mr M said joining Salford Heart Care has improved his health, increased his circle of friends and enabled him to join other groups and pass on his knowledge to others.
Mrs H from Astley aged 75
Mrs H has been widowed for 28 years and has brought up 5 children, 2 sons and 3 daughters, who all remain very close to her. She worked as a machinist until ten years ago when she suffered a mild stroke, the cause of which was attributed to high blood pressure and smoking. Following a stay in hospital, the day she was discharged her granddaughter took her cigarettes from her and she has never smoked again. As a precaution, she carries a blood pressure monitor, which she says is invaluable.
When she felt better and able to get out and about, her daughter’s friend told her about the Health Walks in Salford, which she decided to join. At the Walks she heard about Salford Heart Care and went with a couple of people from the Walking Group to the Eccles drop-in, where she has been a member for the past 10 years.
Her favourite aspect of being a member of SHC is going on the social trips, she has made lots of friends at the club and it has helped her enormously to be able to chat to the other members who have experienced similar health problems. She was given the “all clear” from breast cancer, which she suffered some years ago.
Mrs H is one of most popular volunteers – she never misses a drop-in and is always willing to “lend an ear” to any member who she feels needs it.
Skelton Bounty Trust – Funding for Blood Pressure Machines
New, clinically approved blood pressure machines were purchased in July 2015 following a successful grant application from The Skelton Bounty Trust to purchase new IT equipment and blood pressure monitoring equipment. Blood pressure monitoring is now taking place at Eccles, Irlam and Little Hulton and during the first month alone, around 100 members have been monitored. Here’s a few case studies recorded so far:
CM – Irlam
CM was admitted to hospital as an emergency after coughing up blood. Whilst being treated in hospital CM had very high blood pressure and was advised to visit her GP so she could be monitored after discharge from hospital. CM attempted to make an appointment with her GP and discovered she would have to wait for 4 weeks before being seen by her nurse/GP surgery. However, CM was able to have her blood pressure checked at our session in Irlam within 1 week of being discharged and we were pleased to reassure her that her blood pressure had returned to normal. We continue to check CM’s blood pressure every week and she is very relieved and reassured by this.
MS – Eccles
MS attends Eccles Healthy Heart Club. She has had her blood pressure checked with us on several occasions and it was noted that it was high, so we advised MS to visit her GP. MS visited her GP and showed the readings we had recorded over several weeks – noting an increase in her blood pressure. MS is now being monitored by her GP and this would not have happened had it not been for our support at the sessions.
JR – Irlam
JR attends Irlam Healthy Heart Club where we have recorded very high blood pressure after taking several readings on each arm. We advised JR to visit her GP and she went across to the surgery straight away. The GP I now monitoring JR and has adjusted her medication as a result. JR also visited the pharmacist to compare the readings with ours and they were very similar, recording high blood pressure and similarly, she was advised JR to see her GP.