Norwich patients praise new heart treatment

A clergyman, a young mother and a grandmother have all told how they are benefitting from a new heart procedure being offered in Norfolk.

Last week, the Evening News told how a the Sparks 4 Hearts fundraising appeal at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital had helped it to buy some new electrophysiology equipment.

Now two patients who have undergone electrophysiology, and a third who is due to have proedure this month, have told how grateful they are the service is now being offered in Norfolk, saving them from having to travel to Papworth Hospital in Cambridge or to London.

Electrophysiology involves inserting several small tubes though a vein in the groin and up into the heart. It can then pinpoint where any electrical signals in the heart are abnormal, and control them.

The Rev Canon Michael Long, priest-in-charge of St Andrew's Church in Trowse, had electrophysiology in June because he had a very rapid heartbeat.

The 79-year-old, who lives in Ipswich Grove, Norwich, has been ordained 55 years and never had a Sunday off through sickness, but started finding himself out of breath walking from one end of the church to the other.

He said: 'Now I feel fine and can climb the stairs.

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'It's an absolutely amazing what they can do and the team are utterly dedicated.'

Care worker Melanie Tunmore is due to have electrophysiology on August 31 for atrial flutter, which sees her have episodes where her heart beats very fast and can leave her feeling faint and with chest pains.

The 33-year-old, from Johnson Close in New Costessey, said: 'I'm just so glad that I can go to the N&N rather than being so far away from home. Knowing that my family can be here for me will make it a lot easier.'

Grandmother-of-five Pat Rant, from Gurney Road, New Costessey, underwent the procedure on August 3 to treat her rapid heart palpitations.

The 65-year-old, who works for the Earlham Green Co-op, said: 'It was so easy for my husband to drop me off, visit after the operation, and pick me up next day and be home in 10 minutes.

'Good luck to these very clever doctors and I hope they get enough funds to to do the more complex cases at Norwich.'

N&N consultant cardiologist Julian Boullen, who specialises in electrophysiology, said: 'Papworth has always provided an excellent service but the advantage now is that patients are able to have the same procedures and all their follow-up appointments done in the city.

'For some patients, travel is a real issue and we have had some previously decline treatment because they have been unwilling to travel.'

The appeal still needs to raise �170,000 towards its final goal of �400,000, so it can expand the service so the more complex cases can be carried out at the N&N too.

Donations can be made by sending a cheque to Norfolk Heart Trust (Sparks 4 Hearts), treasurer Dr A J F Page, 215 Unthank Road, Norwich, NR2 2PH. They can also be made by bank transfer to Lloyds TSB sort code 30-96-17, account number 02473424, online at or via the Just Giving website at

Do you have a story about how a new health service has helped you? Contact Kim Briscoe on 01603 772419 or email