Adrian sends a heartful thanks to allied health professionals

An older man stands between two female health professionals
Physiotherapist Jade Crabbe, Adrian Grant and Exercise Physiologist Lauren Chasland. Adrian is pictured below with wife Jenny.
October 14, 2022

Adrian Grant was living a normal life in 2010, when suddenly, as he cycled to Murdoch train station, his heart went into Ventricular Fibrillation (VF) causing him to lose consciousness, fall off his bike and break his jaw.

"By rights I should have been dead," Adrian said.

"But luckily a Transperth employee knew CPR and kept me alive until an ambulance arrived."

Unaware of any heart issues, Adrian was rushed to St John of God Hospital where he was later discharged with a defibrillator to ensure his heart did not go into VF again.

It wasn't until 2019 when Adrian's heart began to decline that he was referred to Cardiologist Dr Amit Shah from the Advanced Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant Service at Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH).

"I remember saying to Dr Shah, if you're thinking of doing a heart transplant, I'm too old and not sick enough," Adrian said.

"But I was wrong on both counts."

Adrian attended the cardiac rehabilitation gym at FSH twice a week for a year prior to having a transplant and underwent a successful heart transplant in 2020.

Adrian's recovery post operation wasn't as smooth as he had hoped, with a three-week recovery swiftly turning into a five-month stay.

Following the removal of a breathing tube, Adrian aspirated and got pneumonia in the lungs and combined with side effects, Adrian ended up in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for three months and in the Coronary Care Unit (CCU) for two weeks.

Not being able to walk on his own two feet for nearly four months, Adrian had to learn how to walk again.Adrian with wife Jenny

"I went from being in ICU where I was mostly bedbound, to State Rehabilitation Service (SRS) where I was wheelchair bound and had to complete a rigorous rehab program of up to three sessions a day," Adrian said.

Involved with SRS for seven weeks, Adrian saw a range of allied health professionals each day including physiotherapists, exercise physiologists, speech pathologists, social workers and occupational therapists who helped get him back on track.

A highlight of Adrian's recovery was having a portable bike fitted to his bed so he could pedal away while simultaneously watching a virtual cycle route on TV.

"A good thing about being in rehab is that they prepare you for home," Adrian said.

"They help you learn how to transfer from a wheelchair and into a car, simulate stepping into the shower, and assist with some basic cooking to simulate cooking at home." 

When Adrian was back on his feet with the support of crutches, the South Metropolitan Health Service (SMHS) Rehabilitation in the Home (RiTH) team visited him up to three times a week to provide him with additional support at home. He then completed a final six months back in the cardiac rehabilitation gym.

Two years on, Adrian is maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle by swimming, cycling and going to the gym.

"In the last two weeks I have been on three 20km bike rides and have completed two hours of gardening," Adrian said.

"Comparing that to two years ago when I was leaving hospital in a wheelchair is hard to believe."

Now 72 and happily retired, Adrian continues to take great care for his heart and has his eyes set on achieving a short-term goal, to cycle 30km by December 2022.

This Allied Health Professional's Day (14 October 2022) Adrian sends a special thank you to all the allied health staff involved in his recovery.

"I cannot speak highly enough about the allied health staff, I couldn't have done it without them."

"Their enthusiasm is infectious - they were always so cheerful and encouraging."

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