Brendan's Story

Brendan Ellis, 56, of Northallerton has been closely monitored for heart problems for the last 15 years after doctors discovered he was born with a faultly heart valve.Brendan with cardiothoracic surgeon Enoch Akowuah

A recent scan revealed he needed to have the valve replaced sooner rather than later but other health conditions meant traditional surgery was out of the question.

Brendan said: “I have muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy which has left me dependent on my arms and my chest for everything so this minimally invasive technique is absolutely critical to me.

“I use my arms to get up and sit down, I walk with crutches and drive using hand controls. So if a surgeon needed to split my breastbone in half I would not be able to move. It’s just unimaginable.

“The doctor was very good. He went through all the options and told me I could have the minimally invasive surgery at James Cook.”

Following the procedure Brendan was discharged from hospital within a week.

“It went even better than I expected,” he said. “This procedure, to someone like me, is a dream come true. The care I received was fantastic – all the staff went above and beyond.”