Man, 31, told he needs urgent ‘high risk’ heart op at routine check up

A 31-year-old man was shocked when doctors told him he needed to go straight to hospital for emergency 'high risk' open-heart surgery – after he visited for a routine check-up.

Joshua Gardiner, who was born with a congenital heart disease, went straight to hospital from his routine appointment and didn't leave for more than two months.

Joshua, who is a Christian pastor, had expected to stay at the hospital for two-and-a-half-hours.

He had previously had a mechanical valve fitted in his heart, so wanted to get fever like symptoms he was suffering from checked out.

"I went in for a routine check-up in February expecting them to say everything was fine," Joshua told Leicestershire Live .

"But they told me that I needed to have surgery right away, which was a bit of a shock.

"The valve had basically moved because of an infection so I was put in hospital for nine weeks on antibiotics.

"Because it had moved the valve wasn't functioning properly so it would need replacing."

By the age of 31 Joshua has already undergone three major heart surgeries.

The former Cambridge student, from Leicester, was born with a congenital heart disease and had his first operation at the Glenfield Hospital when he was just 16.

But after years out of the operating theatre, he has undergone two further major operations in the past 18 months

He added: "I never really had any symptoms or problems of any kind.

"I did need heart surgery when I was 16 to replace an aortic valve which took a bit of time to recover from and a bit of time away from school."

But he recovered well from the procedure and after studying at University of Leicester he moved on to Cambridge where he studied law.

When he was 30 he needed to have an operation to replaced the valve that was first put in, but this was something he said he was expecting.

Doctors needed to erase the infection from his body before they could even consider surgery.

Eventually after the nine weeks doctors agreed that they could perform surgery – an operation that Josh was told would be "high risk".

He thanked his family for all of the support they gave him and said "they were amazing" and that some nights his wife, Chrissy, even slept by his hospital bed.

He said: "There was a high risk that something could have gone wrong or even dying from this type of surgery."

"You don't expect to have conversations like this when you're in your 30s, maybe when you're in you're 80 but not when you are young."

Thankfully the operation went according to plan and Josh survived the surgery; he says he is now recovering well.

Now he is helping to launch a wellbeing series with the Leicester branch of a church named Kings Gate Community Church.

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