Well, it started in 2003 when I was 82 and it started with small ischemic attacks affecting my eyes and movement of my hand and small things made me feel a little bit dizzy, faint. So later on, I took normal things, aspirin, this, that and the other, later on it developed and got worse. For instance, I was driving along and I'd get a partial vision blank. If I happened to look at a person in the face, I could only see half of the face and reading, I could only see the first part of a word. That lasted, to start off, 5 minutes and then back to normal.
Then of course that gradually got worse and I went to see the doc, went to hospital and they did a scan check of my carotid in my neck on the left side and they found that there was an obstruction there, so 6 months later when the appointment came up, they carried out an operation on my left carotid in my neck and a endarterectomy and while I was under the operation and it was a it was partial, just a small injection to make me feel a bit sleepy and I could hear everything they were saying and the object of the exercise was if , if there was anything that I could tell them, I still could talk. So halfway through the operation, they said they were, I could listen to them handing over to another doctor to do this, that and the other and then I said my right arm was getting numb. “Can you move your fingers?” “No.” “Can you move your right leg?” “No.” Then I blacked out. I came round at 2 o'clock in the morning in bed in a ward all wired up and there was a big bruise on my chest where he gave me a thump to start my heart going again and I recovered quite good from that.
Before you went into the operation, did they, can you tell me about any of the discussions that you had with the doctors? Did they tell, did they discuss the risks that might be involved in the operation?
Yes. I asked, I asked them point blank, “What's the, what's the percentage risk of me dying?” And they said it was 95% successful, so I thought, “Well, that's good odds, carry on”.
So when you'd had the problems during the operation, how did you feel about that after?
Well, first, first, well I thought, “Well I'm lucky to be alive” and secondly I thought, “Well, they did their best” in fact, I was very, very pleased about, about it all, especially now, a year later when I feel perfectly alright. Perfectly normal person.