A PENSIONER who received surgery for a life-threatening bleed has praised the hospital staff who saved his life.

Ricky Allen, 78, was rushed into Glan Clwyd Hospital towards the end of June 2021 with "extreme" pain in his abdomen.

He was placed under the care of Soroush Sohrabi, consultant vascular surgeon, who diagnosed a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), which could be fatal if left untreated.

Mr Allen said: “The night before I was admitted into hospital I felt very unwell, I had excruciating pain in my stomach but I was hopeful it would pass.

“The next morning I had no choice but to call for an ambulance as the pain was now unbearable, I knew there was something seriously wrong.

“When I arrived at Glan Clwyd Hospital I was told this was a serious situation and I needed an urgent operation.”

Mr Allen was taken to the Radiology Interventional Suite where Mr Sohrabi carried out keyhole surgery to place a stent into his aorta to stop the bleed. After a few days recovering on the ward he was able to go home.

Ricky Allen (centre) amongst members of the Vascular team recovering on the ward at Glan Clwyd Hospital following his surgery.

Ricky Allen (centre) amongst members of the Vascular team recovering on the ward at Glan Clwyd Hospital following his surgery.

“Words aren’t enough. I can’t express how grateful and thankful I am for the way the hospital has looked after me.

“The care I have received has been exceptional, everyone has been incredible.

“I feel very emotional when I think about what they have done for me, we are really very lucky to have a service available like this in North Wales."

Procedures such as AAA repairs can be carried out using minimally invasive surgery such as keyhole rather than open surgery, with real-time imaging equipment helping to guide instruments.

Since the opening of the Hybrid Theatre in 2019, patients needing urgent vascular treatment have benefitted from new equipment that has brought new types of surgery to North Wales. The Radiology Interventional Suite also offers the same technology for treating vascular patients as the Hybrid Theatre.

Patients like Mr Allen can receive these complex procedures at Glan Clwyd Hospital in the Vascular hub and will later receive a follow up appointment at their local hospital.

Linda Crossley, 67, was the first person to receive a new hybrid treatment of an iliac aneurysm in North Wales in September 2020.

An iliac aneurysm is bulging and weakness in the wall of the iliac artery, located in the pelvis. These aneurysms can burst, which can cause life-threatening, uncontrolled bleeding.

Ms Crossley, a retired landscape contractor, has undergone a range of treatments since 2016, including a mastectomy and chemotherapy to treat breast cancer, and major open vascular surgery to treat an aneurysm in both iliac arteries. said: “When you think about the last year, with Covid, to have still had my operation was amazing really. Everything was done with such thought and consideration."

“The whole thing has been a very smooth process, from the team in scanning through to seeing Mr Sohrabi and Mr Desmarowitz.”