Theo, Netherlands

It all started in approximately 1980 with arterial stenosis in my legs. In 1983 I had percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in the Andreas hospital in the Netherlands. After my recovery, I started working in kitchen construction, but unfortunately, due to circumstances I had to take early retirement.

After stopping work it became very difficult to continue a normal social life. I received a lot of support from my wife. However, taking several medicines for blood pressure, diuretics, and blood thinners had a big impact on our sexual life and I developed erectile problems. Finally our sexual life stopped entirely. My wife has been fantastic in accepting this, but unfortunately I still have difficulty coming to terms with it.

In 2005 I was driving in my car with my wife and I fell asleep waiting for a traffic light. This also happened several times during long drives. My wife slapped me, which woke me up. It appeared that I had been suffering with sleep apnoea, which eventually led to a heart attack. I received very good treatment in the Slotervaart hospital.

After my heart attack, my wife and I have had to adapt our lifestyles to manage my condition as best we can. I am terribly grateful to my wife for her support and I greatly appreciate the support that I have received during the PCI, heart rehabilitation and heart failure.

To my regret it is not possible to do everything I want to do any more. But my wife and I have accepted this way of life. We think that there are always cases much more serious than mine.

Click on the names below to read other stories.

François, France
Nick, Netherlands

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