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Case in point: Graham’s story

Graham's story

Graham Barnet had a heart attack while running the 2006 London marathon. He was rushed to Barts and The London Heart Attack Centre – Britain’s biggest – for an emergency angioplasty, an advanced life-saving procedure.

At the new heart centre, Graham, a veteran of 16 marathons, underwent a minimally invasive procedure called an angioplasty to clear the blockage and stop the heart attack. 

“Graham’s condition was very serious,” explains Consultant Cardiologist Dr Thuraia Nageh, who performed Graham’s angioplasty.  “One of his arteries was completely blocked, which directly led to his heart attack. I am delighted at his dramatic recovery following this life-saving procedure.”

Graham’s case is one of the latest examples of how angioplasties are helping to modernise heart attack treatment. Our research shows that patients have nearly a 10% better survival rate with an angioplasty than those who receive traditional clot-busting drugs, which try to dissolve the clot. It also shows that on average patients spend far less time in hospital following an angioplasty.

Graham, a postman from Barnet, north London, says: “The treatment at the heart attack centre was great. I always had the impression that once you suffered a heart attack you just kept going downhill but that isn’t the case with me. I have already returned to work part time and have plans to do more marathons in the future.”

 “I have already returned to work part time and have plans to do more marathons.”

What is an angioplasty?

Angioplasties involve cardiologists inserting a thin tube called a catheter into the patient’s leg and feeding it up through a main artery until it reaches the blockage. A tiny balloon attached to the end of the catheter is then inflated to clear the blockage and a tiny metal scaffold, called a stent, is inserted into the artery to stop it from narrowing and becoming blocked again.