Heart op man faces Nepal challenge
FOUR months ago Paul Taylor underwent the biggest challenge of his life – a triple heart bypass at the age of just 39.Today he is still off work recuperating from the operation but has already set his sights on his next big feat.
FOUR months ago Paul Taylor underwent the biggest challenge of his life - a triple heart bypass at the age of just 39.
Today he is still off work recuperating from the operation but has already set his sights on his next big feat.
Next spring, less than a year after life-saving surgery, he plans to join a trek to Nepal or Tibet to raise funds to help others with his condition.
Mr Taylor's problems began this time last year.
He said: "I kept getting what I thought was a stitch in my chest. I went to the doctors and discovered I'd got high blood pressure so I was put on tablets and decided to join a gym.
"I carried on as normal but then I had quite a severe attack and was taken to hospital."
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It was then Mr Taylor, of Radcliffe Drive, Ipswich, was diagnosed with angina or clogging of the arteries.
He said: "Looking back on it now, joining a gym was probably the worst thing I could have done. My heart was already under a lot of pressure and I could easily have brought a heart attack on."
After Mr Taylor was released from hospital the pains continued to worsen until, in January, he was rushed in to hospital again.
A severe blockage was found in one of his arteries and an operation carried out to open it up again.
The problem returned again in July and Mr Taylor was rushed in to hospital for a life-saving triple heart bypass.
Mr Taylor, who will return to work as a boiler engineer next month, said: "My father died from a massive heart attack at the age of 45 when I was 13, so it was not a complete surprise but I have always tried to live a fairly healthy life.
"I don't smoke and try not to eat too much junk food, but it's in my genes so there's not a lot I can do about it."
Mr Taylor and his wife Karen have two children, James, 11, and Megan, five.
Mr Taylor says he is very conscious of making sure they live healthy lifestyles.
"In years to come they will carry out tests on them.
"They are not on a strict diet or anything, but they certainly won't be having McDonalds every week and we are conscious of what they eat."
Despite the traumatic surgery and long hospital stays he has endured Mr Taylor says he knows things could have been much worse.
"I count myself as lucky because the condition was treated relatively early and I never actually had a heart attack. My heart has not been weakened at all.
"I'll be on medication for the rest of my life and I face further operations in the coming years.
"But I've had to go on quite a strenuous fitness regime and there's no reason why I will not be fit enough to do the trek next year."
He said: "It's a lifetime ambition of mine to go to this area of the world, and after what's happened to me I feel like the British Heart Foundation have saved my life.
"When my father died 26 years ago it was before the first heart transplants had been carried out. If it happened to him now things might have been very different.
"Heart disease is the biggest killer in the UK and we don't know how many of us are a time bomb waiting to go off."