Patient Experience

On the road to being ‘fighting fit’

peter svhm

Peter came into hospital to have major cardiac surgery to fix two heart valves. Unfortunately after the long surgery the right side of Peter’s heart started to fail. In the middle of the night, in an induced coma in the ICU, he was in a fight for his life. His vital organs were starting to shut down despite many therapies to support his heart, lungs and other organs.

He received a life saving intervention called ECMO (extracorporeal membrane support) – a form of heart bypass inserted in the ICU. This allowed his heart time to recover and his organs enough oxygen and nutrients to turn the corner. He was on ECMO for just over 2 days and spent many more days recovering in the ICU.

We caught up with him on the ward where he continues to regain his strength…and sense of humour! He gave us great insight into his journey. He mentioned it felt like an “out of body experience” and that he was “talking to his aunties and uncles”. He wanted to emphasize “how great the staff are”.

We wish Peter all the best in the next part of his recovery at home.


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