Discover our Heart Month Heroes in partnership with British Heart Foundation

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Heart Month Heroes: Ian's story

After suffering from a heart attack, Ian began dedicating his life to mirroring the work of British Heart Foundation – through sharing support and education. And LloydsDirect supported him, helping him manage his medicines smoothly.

Ian Phillips discovered just how unpredictable heart disease can be, on one fateful day that began like any other.

On the 16th February 1993, he was working as an engineer at the National History Museum, when suddenly, he collapsed. Ian had a heart attack; a day and event he will never forget, this started his new journey of living with a heart condition.

Reflecting on this event, Ian recalls, ‘I was taken to Charing Cross Hospital, and was there for about seven days. I was 52 years old, so I was fairly young.’ The suddenness of his heart attack, especially after a previous health check that seemed reassuring, highlighted the unexpected nature of heart conditions. ‘It was quite a shock when it happened,’ Ian said.

Managing medications and a new lifestyle change

Following his first heart attack, Ian had to navigate life with a heart condition. Made complicated by other health conditions such as diabetes and arthritis, things became even more difficult when he blacked out and had another heart attack a few years later. ‘I had to go and spend the night in the hospital on Christmas day, so I missed out on another celebration!’

Luckily, Ian discovered a lifeline for managing his new lifestyle, and the new medicines he was prescribed. ‘That's when I joined LloydsDirect. I started getting my medication sent directly to me.’ This service was integral for helping Ian control his condition, through smooth medicine management and convenient delivery. ‘They delivered the medicines straight to my door – that was really helpful especially, during the COVID pandemic, I had to be extra careful and couldn't go out much, as I was considered high risk’.

"I keep active. Yesterday I went to London and I did about 14,000 steps. I think that's good enough for an 82 year old!"

Staying active and in control

Ian was determined not to let his heart condition rule his life and stop him doing things he loves, such as DIY and spending time with his grandchildren. But he did touch on positive changes he’s made to help his heart health and cholesterol, ‘I keep active. Yesterday I went to London and I did about 14,000 steps. I think that's good enough for an 82 year old!’

Genetics, and sharing information with loved ones

Ian learnt that these conditions can run through families. ‘My mother had a heart attack, so I presumed it could happen to one of my siblings or me at some point, and it did. Ian also shared the importance of sitting down with his children to discuss his condition, empowering them with the knowledge to look after their own health.

And as well as managing his own heart condition, Ian has become a keen ambassador of supporting those going through similar experiences in his community, encouraging people to share their family history with doctors and with their family.

Supporting British Heart Foundation

Ian also shared the importance of supporting a charity like British Heart Foundation.

‘They fund fantastic research that has directly impacted me. For example, after the first heart attack, I was told to stay in bed and recover. After the second attack, they said to get up and start walking. So it’s wonderful to see how far they’ve come.’ A significant indicator of how far heart condition treatment and recovery terms have advanced since Ian’s initial experience.

Thanks to your support, you’re helping British Heart Foundation to help people like Ian – and his family – recover from these conditions, enabling them to live their lives to the fullest. His story is an inspiration, providing hope and light to those going through similar issues, and managing them with help from services like LloydsDirect.

A heart attack is a medical emergency, and you should call 999 for an ambulance immediately. It happens when there’s a sudden loss of blood flow to a part of the heart muscle. Without enough blood and oxygen your heart can be seriously damaged.

In the UK around 100,000 hospital admissions each year are due to heart attacks: that's 290 admissions each day or one every five minutes.