My last chance at life

91 year-old Hubert Crossley, of Princes Way in Fleetwood, who has written to the Prime Minister after having been refused a TAVI heart operation.
91 year-old Hubert Crossley, of Princes Way in Fleetwood, who has written to the Prime Minister after having been refused a TAVI heart operation.

A FLEETWOOD war veteran spoke this week of his hopes for a few more precious years with his family after health chiefs made a U-turn giving him the chance of a life-changing operation.

Great grandfather Hubert Crossley (pictured), 91, of Princess Way, is in need of a TAVI (transcatheter aortic valve implantation) operation.

Mr Crossley, of Princes Way, can barely walk and suffers breathing problems, but says he has always had a young outlook and has plenty to live for.

His chances of having the operation looked bleak after the North West Specialised Commissioning Group (NWSCG) decided it would not fund the procedure.

Now, however, Mr Crossley and many other people have been given good news after the NWSCG approved the routine commissioning of the £25,000 procedure at a meeting on Monday.

Mr Crossley said: “I know people may say I am very old, but I don’t feel I am on my last legs. If I have a chance to make my life a lot better, I may as well take it. This is my last chance.”

The operation corrects abnormal narrowing of the aortic heart valve.

Mr Crossley told the Weekly News: “It is very pleasant news.

“This could give me another four or five years.

“I have two very young great grandchildren, Eve and Oliver, who are both under four years old and live in Huddersfield.

“I thought I would die without seeing them for much longer.

“Now I could have a chance to at least see them start school.

The Fleetwood war veteran, who served in the RAF, even wrote to Fleetwood MP, Eric Ollerenshaw, in a bid to help him after it looked like he wouldn’t be able to have the operation.

He said: “They said age was no problem so I thought In would give it a try.

“It’s been on appeal several times.

“I was placed on a waiting list for TAVI 18 months ago, but I heard a couple of months ago they had refused it again.

“They didn’t give a reason why, the letter I got just said it was down for lack of funds.

“Now at least there is hope.”