Michael Brennan

AIn December 2015, an otherwise fit Michael Brennan, 72, became suddenly breathless. His GP referred him to his local walk-in chest clinic at Charing Cross Hospital.

I was aware that I had an irregular heartbeat, but feeling breathless was quite a shock. The chest clinic told me I had a leaking mitral valve and I was referred to Hammersmith Hospital.

I’d heard that the cardiology team at Hammersmith was the best in London, so I enquired about private treatment.

I met [consultant cardiologist] Susan Connolly and within a month I’d had an echo test, angiogram and surgery. Mr. Punjabi connected the leaking mitral valves and performed an ablation to repair the rhythmic disturbance.

Everyone was fantastically reassuring – I had total confidence in the team. I was in intensive care for five days, and the attention and fast response there was truly special. They couldn’t do enough for me.

Altogether, I was in hospital for nine days. There has been a coordinated approach to my recovery. I’ve been back to Hammersmith for a chest x-ray, echo test and cardio rehab. A month after I was discharged, I felt a lot better. I feel really lucky.

“The attention and fast response there was truly special. They couldn’t do enough for me.”