Hello, my name's Mike Smith, I'm very nearly 60 years old
and I've had three heart attacks.
I'm pleased to say that I'm recovering very well.
Initially, the first heart attack, which was many years ago, about 15,
I thought I'd got basically heartburn.
Probably heartburn on steroids. It was like an acute-type heartburn.
I ended up down at the local hospital, which in my case is Airedale,
where they told me I'd had a heart attack.
So that was the first one.
Following that I was then put on a course of tablets
and didn't suffer any more problems for about another 14 years.
I did smoke,
and like a lot of other people I stopped smoking after the first heart attack,
and with the help of the tablets
really carried on what would be called a normal life.
However, I started smoking again,
which is probably not the wisest thing to do,
but because I was feeling so fit and healthy, as I thought,
I thought, "It will never happen to me again,"
but it did.
So then, yes, I had another heart attack,
followed by a second one a month or two later,
at which time the doctors then decided that I needed a bypass.
Prior to the occupation you go into the pre-op room,
where the anaesthetists give you a slight injection,
and that is the last you know about it.
The next thing I realised, I woke up
and it was about ten or eleven hours later
and I was in intensive care.
I stayed in there for about two days.
Following that I was then on the normal ward
and that same afternoon they had me up and about, walking.
So it's not a question of after a heart op you can lie down for six months.
They actually do make you work.
And before the end of the day I was in the shower.
So you're really up and about.
You're not going to run the marathon or anything,
but you're actually up and moving,
so it's a lot different than it was years ago.
For the next week or two,
you've certainly got to hold something like a cushion if you sneeze
because it does hurt, and that is...
So do not get a cold. Do not get a cold after a heart op.
I was only in hospital, and most people are, for round about a week,
either five days or seven days,
that is about the time that you need.
On my first day home
I was visited by a cardiac nurse who specialises in cardiac treatment.
And then I had another few weeks to wait
until the various healing processes had taken place
before I was invited to go to the gym.
Then I went along to this particular gym,
it's like a community centre,
where people who had the same problem as me were there.
That was useful because I talked to people
who had actually had exactly the same problem.
So it is useful for people
to pass comments and ideas backwards and forwards to each other
on a common subject.
I take tablets.
A lot of people don't like taking tablets, so they say.
All I can say is I take tablets
because if I don't, life wouldn't be worth living, really,
because the tablets are there for a purpose.
I don't take many, three in the morning and one at night,
so if you can't manage that, well, you know...
It's a small price to pay.
There is life after a heart attack.
You don't have to sit in a corner and go, "Woe is me" all day.
In my case, after the first heart attack I got married.
And I'm pleased to say we've got a 12-year-old son.
But yes, you can start life...
Life doesn't end because you've had a heart attack.