Kilkenny TD’s heart attack opens eyes to need for better cardiac care in region
A Kilkenny TD said he has become more conscious of constituents’ concerns regarding cardiac care after he suffered a heart attack and was treated in the public system.
John Paul Phelan, the 41-year-old Ferrybank Fine Gael TD, suffered a heart attack on Sunday, July 12 after a walk with his wife and their pet dog and returning home to do some house chores.
His wife Claire took the decision to get him to hospital after Deputy Phelan felt unwell for 45 minutes before he began to vomit. It later emerged Deputy Phelan had 100% blockage in a heart valve.
Talking to KCLR’s Eimear Ni Bhraonáin, Deputy Phelan put the heart attack down to his recent lifestyle and the rigors of working as a modern-day politician.
“I was a fairly heavy smoker for the last 10 years. I was putting it down to that and the fact I have turned 40 and was getting older,” the TD said.
“I put on a lot of weight during lockdown even though I had done more physical work in those few months of lockdown than I had in a long time.
“I was very tired. I was putting it down to long hours and a lot of travelling and the fact I am not as young as I was.
“I been feeling that way the bones of 12 months.”
Deputy Phelan was kept in the medical ward in University Hospital Waterford overnight before being moved to Whitfield Clinic the following day to be operated on as he was deemed to be an emergency case.
Deputy Phelan was being treated in the same hospital where there has been an extensive campaign locally for 24/7 Cardiac Care and a second cath lab. At the time of his stay at the hospital no cath lab was open, as the existing one was being upgraded over the summer.
The irony of this was not lost on Deputy Phelan.
“The following morning at 6am they started rolling me for a CT scan and about half an hour later I was in the back of an ambulance and on the way to Whitfield, because the cath lab in UHW was still being revamped.
“The surgeon Dr Solomon was very witty. I have never spoken to him before but have written to him.
“He said ‘I hope you are in favour of the second cath lab?’ That got everyone in the room laughing,” the TD added,
Deputy Phelan said he now feels well enough to resume his work serving the public.