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'We could have saved her life': Random health checks catch woman's 'dangerous' blood pressure

PUBLISHED: 13:30 18 August 2019 | UPDATED: 13:30 18 August 2019

A clean bill of health for Sailmakers Manager Mike Sorhaindo as his blood pressure is tested by Diamond James watched by fellow healthcare professionals Matilda Mazumba, left, and Jennie James Picture: WARREN PAGE/ PAGEPIX

A clean bill of health for Sailmakers Manager Mike Sorhaindo as his blood pressure is tested by Diamond James watched by fellow healthcare professionals Matilda Mazumba, left, and Jennie James Picture: WARREN PAGE/ PAGEPIX

WARREN PAGE/ PAGEPIX

Free routine health checks at the Sailmakers shopping centre in Ipswich turned into a potentially life-saving intervention after one woman was found to need urgent medical attention.

the group were made up of medical professionals checking for tell-tale signs of poor health in the public Picture: WARREN PAGE/ PAGEPIXthe group were made up of medical professionals checking for tell-tale signs of poor health in the public Picture: WARREN PAGE/ PAGEPIX

A group of highly-experienced health professionals from Ipswich Seventh-day Adventist Church set up temporary camp in Sailmakers Shopping Centre to offer simple health screenings.

The team of nurses, nutritionists and physiotherapists checked cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and BMIs - and had a shock when a woman in her late 60s was found with dangerously high blood pressure, almost twice as high as it should have been.

The woman was taken to a nearby walk-in centre in Ipswich for treatment.

Jennie James, who is a senior mental health nurse at a hospital in Colchester and the programme coordinator, said: "This lady didn't have any idea or history of hypertension.

Volunteers from the Ipswich Seventh-day Adventist Church were giving out free health checks at Sailmakers Shopping Centre Picture: WARREN PAGE/ PAGEPIXVolunteers from the Ipswich Seventh-day Adventist Church were giving out free health checks at Sailmakers Shopping Centre Picture: WARREN PAGE/ PAGEPIX

"I would say it's very possible we saved her life. She was very lucky indeed and has been keen to express her gratitude.

"Luckily, there was someone with her to be able to take her to the Riverside Clinic otherwise we would have facilitated taking her there ourselves.

"She has now been diagnosed with hypertension and is very grateful that she came in and had those checks, all free of charge."

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Of the 39 people to receive the health checks, two presented with high blood pressure while 13 people showed raised blood sugar levels.

Eight had raised cholesterol levels and all were advised to visit their GP for follow-up.

Since the checks, three people continue to be monitored for suspected Type 2 diabetes while two people remain in the care of their GP for high cholesterol.

Another woman seen by the team was Thelma Webb, from Ipswich.

The 83-year-old took up the offer of a free health check at the same event last year where she tested high for blood sugar.

"When I originally saw Jenny I wasn't eating right or doing any exercise and I thank her for putting me on the right road to keep my blood sugar down," she said.

"I'm now taking medication from my doctor and eating well and doing exercise and I feel much better. I was so happy with the change I was jumping up and down."

"Life can be busy, especially if you're working full time. " added Ms James.

"We have been doing this for eight years now. Everybody is concerned about their health but not everybody practices the laws of good health."

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