Denis Ryan’s Story

Dear Professor Da Costa,

I am writing to you in response to your request to speak about my experience at GUH recently.

My name is Denis Ryan. I am a 69 year old construction worker living in Kerry. I am married with 4 children and 5 grandchildren.

On the of 8th April this year, while celebrating at my Nephews wedding in Mulranny Co. Mayo, I experienced severe headache and a tingling in my jaw. Luckily my sister in law Margaret was present, who is a nurse, and she recognised the symptoms as being cardiac related. An ambulance took me from the wedding venue in Mulranny to Castlebar Hospital.

At Castlebar I was admitted to A&E and within a very short period of time, I was assessed and diagnosed on what was a very busy night in A&E. Blood tests revealed I had suffered a heart attack. I cannot praise the nurses and staff in Castlebar A&E and ICU for their care and kindness to both myself and my wife during such a traumatic time.

On Sunday 9th April, I was transferred by Ambulance to The Galway Clinic for an angiogram. The Cardiologist, Dr Pate performed the procedure on Monday 10th and it was at this point that we were told that I had 2 major blockages to my arteries and that I would require Bypass surgery. The resident cardiac surgeon at Galway Clinic was unavailable at the time and Dr Pate arranged a consultation with Professor Mark Da Costa of UHG for later that week. On meeting Professor Da Costa, he explained the procedure in detail and that the operation would be performed as soon as possible in UHG.

A bed became available at UHG on Monday 17th April. I was admitted to the Cardiothoracic Unit where I received excellent care from all the staff while awaiting my surgery for Thursday 20th. During that time Professor Da Costa called on several occasions and spoke to my wife and I regarding the surgery. He put our minds at ease, which was a difficult task, as we were very concerned as I am an asthmatic and also a diabetic. However, his professionalism and kind manner was so reassuring we were immediately put at ease and felt very confident that the operation would be a success and I would be fine.

On Thursday Morning, 20th April, I was prepped for the operation and taken to theatre. A double bypass was performed by Professor Da Costa and his team which was very successful. Later that evening I was transferred to ICU where I was monitored for 2 days before being transferred back to the Cardiothoracic Unit. While recovering on this ward, I had the very best of care from all the medical team and within 4 days I was deemed strong and healthy enough to be discharged.

My wife and I would like to say a special thanks to CROI. Being from Kerry, my wife would have been unable to commute daily to visit me. CROI is an exceptional facility which was made available for my wife Mary. CROI offered her accommodation at the Courtyard Apartments, which is a 10 minute walk from UHG. At a very stressful and traumatic time, CROI were very supportive and it was one less worry on our minds.

Finally a huge and heartfelt thanks to Professor Da Costa and his team. You have changed the course of my life and for that I and my family are eternally grateful.

We wish you all the very best on your 10th Anniversary and long may it continue.

Kind regards,

Denis and Mary Ryan.

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