Op pressure pays off for pensioner

91 year-old Hubert Crossley, of Princes Way in Fleetwood.
91 year-old Hubert Crossley, of Princes Way in Fleetwood.

A FLEETWOOD pensioner who was turned down for specialist heart treatment has now had the revolutionary procedure after pressure from his family and GPs paid off.

Hubert Crossley, 91, of Princes Way, Fleetwood, is now recovering in hospital after the TAVI procedure, a £25,000 operation to correct narrowing of the heart’s aortic valve.

Fleetwood war hero Mr Crossley (left) spoke earlier this year about he could no longer perform single tasks in his home because of the heart condition.

The North West Specialised Commission Group (NWSCG) turned down e-RAF war hero Mr Crossley for the TAVI last year, prompting him to write to the PM about it.

But earlier this summer he was finally given the green light, and he spoke about how he would love to be able to see his great grandchildren grow older.

He is one of several Fylde coast pensioners who were in a similar position before having their cases accepted too.

Clarice Richardson, 83, from Norbreck, has now returned home after undergoing the procedure.

Prior to the treatment she was breathless and struggled to walk.

Mrs Richardson said: “It’s changed my life. I knew it was a risk but I thought I had to go for it.

“I feel as if I can go out again now.

“I’ve been able to make a dinner and do some ironing for the first time.

“I wanted to be able to dance just once more and I think I might be able to manage a little Waltz if we go to a Christmas party.

“I’m also hoping to travel to see my three great-grandchildren. “I was in hospital for three weeks and came out on Thursday. I can walk without a stick now.

“I can’t speak too highly of the staff. They’re excellent.”

Until March, the procedure was not routinely funded by the NWSCG as it was considered a relatively new operation so patients had to apply separately to their local primary care trusts to be accepted, with many refused funding.

And Irene Bailey, a grandmother-of-four, is celebrating after also successfully coming through the procedure.

Mrs Bailey, 89, from Marton, said: “I feel 100 per cent better.

“It was very difficult to breath and I couldn’t do anything. But now I’ve got my life back – I’d like to thank everyone who helped.

And former nurse Clarice Davies, 89, from Bispham, also had the treatment.