Father-of-two seeks £17,000 for op not funded by NHS
- Credit: Archant
The family of a man who cannot get life-changing NHS surgery, because he had a heart attack instead of a stroke, are appealing for help to raise vital funds.
Dane Higgs, who lives in Worle, found out he was born with a hole in his heart - after suffering from a heart attack, in August 2018.
The 31-year-old was discovered by his partner, Paisley Flynn, laying on the sofa when she came back from work and he said he had a tightening in his chest.
He was taken to the Bristol Royal Infirmary, where tests showed he had suffered a heart attack and tests conducted showed he was born with a hole in his heart.
Dane needs to undergo a procedure to close the hole but is not eligible for the treatment on the NHS. He would have been, if he had suffered a stroke.
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Paisley, aged 28, said it has been very stressful because the family is constantly worrying it will happen again.
She said: "When I came back from work and found him, he didn't think it was anything serious.
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"He'd never been ill before so we had no idea he had a hole in his heart.
"We found out earlier this year, he wouldn't be able to get the closure through the NHS because he had a heart attack, but if he had had a stroke they would've been able to operate. It is more common to have a stroke not a heart attack from the condition.
"Dane didn't want me to start the gofundme page but I feel we now have no choice as NHS funding is no longer an option."
Dane must take daily medicines to lower the chances of having another heart attack.
The NHS stopped funding for the procedure in 2013, but it was made available again this year but only for stroke patients.
Paisley says they have been quoted about £17,000 by a private clinic in Bristol for the procedure.
She added: "Apparently it is common to be born with a hole in the heart and adults can live without it causing any problems.
"But without the surgery he will have to take the medicine for the rest of his life."
To donate money to the fundraising effort, visit www.bit.ly/2oWH6Ad