An Entrepreneur and a Heart Survivor

Meet Fradrek Law, a 68-year-old heart survivor who underwent a successful coronary artery bypass and open heart surgery. This is his story.

Ticking Time Bomb in the Chest

Fradrek an entrepreneur and frequent traveller led a very active lifestyle. For several years  and frequent regular 18 hole rounds of golf on foot was the norm. But as most golf courses here and abroad prefer to speed up play, the walking rounds were not possible. Frequent brisk walking was an alternative. Despite annual health screening here and overseas, little did he know that those tests did not detect a ticking time bomb in him; his coronary arteries were severely blocked in the recent years.

On a recent annual chest X-ray, he was referred to the local heart centre. Feeling breathless after a flight of stairs and developing swollen ankles is another alarming sign. Without further procrastination, he was introduced to consult Cardiologist Dr. Ong Sea Hing at Farrer Park Hospital.

Dr Ong’s Computed Tomography (CT) Coronary Angiogram revealed a severe ostial left anterior descending (LAD) artery as well as left posterior descending artery stenosis.

A subsequent Coronary Angiogram – a Gold Standard Test for coronary artery blockage –revealed a much more severe disease in multiple areas of his heart, especially in the left main stem which the prior CT scan did not detect.

This warranted a coronary artery bypass surgery that needed to be performed immediately. Blocked arteries can go virtually unnoticed until a complete blockage of the artery, and would usually lead to a heart attack.

Taking the Leap

Dr. Ong immediately referred Fradrek to Cardiothoracic Surgeon Dr. Lim Chong Hee. Dr. Lim assessed Fradrek’s condition – a severe mitral valve leak as well as a left main coronary artery disease,  requires a mitral valve replacement and a bypass surgery.

Dr. Lim assessed Fradrek’s condition and found that there was a severe mitral valve leak as well as a left main coronary artery disease, requiring a mitral valve replacement and a bypass surgery.

“If Fradrek’s procedure were delayed any longer, he would have suffered a heart failure due to his severely blocked arteries,” revealed Dr. Lim.

“The moment I found out about the condition my heart, I told Dr. Lim that I’m ready to get the surgery done and get my heart fixed,” Fradrek recalled. “I am very lucky because  I managed to seek medical help at the perfect timing when I am still healthy and this is the perfect window for a major surgery.”

Fradrek went through the bypass operation; one that is usually regarded as a major operation the following week.

Fradrek added: “Besides my god sister and a few close friends I did not inform my son until the surgery was over. I didn’t want him to worry. I trusted my surgeon, the facility and believed it was the right team.”

“It was with this confidence that motivated me to do the needful to get my health back.”

Road to Recovery

Fradrek was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and in-patient for a week was off his painkillers on the seventh day after his surgery. On the 7th day he checked into the One Farrer Hotel linked to the Hospital and medical centre and Cardiac Rehabilitation centre.

This close proximity facilitates subsequent weekly chest X-rays to monitor his progress and with a cardiac rehabilitation program, and maintaining a strict diet was also part of a remarkable recovery process.

It is important to have a healthy diet after a cardiac bypass surgery. This helps your body to heal, reduce risk of complications and improve speed of recovery.

In the past, indulging in frequent seafood meals of tiger prawns, lobsters, crabs, red meat like racks of lamb and beef steak have to be scaled down to include more green salad and fish.

Looking back, Fradrek admitted those were sinful indulgences and most definitely played a part in his heart health.

Minding the Heart

Heart health is linked to emotional well-being — and vice versa. Addressing both elements is essential. Emotional support plays an extremely vital role during such times that thankfully, being surrounded by friends who lifted his spirit with positivity and enthusiasm. Fradrek has returned to work just mere weeks after his surgery.

Learning Points

I’m glad that I managed to find out about my condition in time and got the necessary treatment,” shared Fradrek. “All I cherish and wish for now is a strong and healthy heart.”

Early Detection is Key

Many heart conditions can go undetected without proper health screenings.

When asked Fradrek what he has to say to the public, he said “You can have all the achievements in life realised but the most important of all is the healthy state of your heart”.

Preventive care can help you stay on top of your health and find potential health issues before they develop into something serious.

When asked Fradrek what he has to say to the public, he said “You can have all the achievements in life realised but the most important of all is the healthy state of your heart”.

“Avoid Procrastination and I fully recommend that you pay a visit to a cardiologist at Farrer Park Medical Centre.”

Heart Smart, Live Smart

From preventive screening to understanding a diagnosis, range of treatments and post-treatment care, access useful and practical resources to navigate through cardiovascular diseases via Farrer Park Hospital’s heart health page: https://www.farrerpark.com/Specialty-Centers/Heart-Health.html

This Article Was Reviewed By:

Dr. Ong Sea Hing is a Consultant Cardiologist and Physician. His area of subspecialty is in coronary artery angioplasty and stenting including complex coronary interventions. He also performs transcatheter aortic valve implantations (TAVI).

Cardiothoracic Surgeon at | Website

Dr. Lim Chong Hee has 25 years of clinical experience in cardiothoracic surgery. His clinical interests are in Minimally-Invasive Lung Surgery, Heart Valve Repair and Replacement, Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery, Aortic Aneurysm Surgery, Mediastinal Tumour Surgery, Esophagectomy for esophageal cancers and Pulmonary Embolectomy & Endarterectomy surgery. He has special interest in Heart/Lung Failure, and pioneers the Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) and implantation of Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVAD) for heart failure patients

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