200 mile a week cyclist Dave is fighting fit after recovering from a bleed on the brain

Date: 08 May 2024

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In October 2022, retired police officer Dave Smith was treated at The Walton Centre for a ruptured brain aneurysm. Dave, aged 56 at the time, was out with friends on a Saturday afternoon watching a live rugby match on the touchline when he suddenly developed double vision and slight unsteadiness on his feet.

Dave said, “I was chatting with pals about the match, when suddenly I felt as though I was looking through a kaleidoscope. The club doctor had a look at me and called for an ambulance.”

Dave was rushed to A&E in a friend’s car, where the team there suspected a stroke. However, after further testing and a scan, they found a ruptured aneurysm and he was transferred to The Walton Centre.

Dave said, “They told me I would need emergency surgery, to deal with the bleed. I had a procedure where the aneurysm was ‘coiled’ – everything was explained to me in a calm and reassuring manner which put me at ease".

Endovascular coiling is when tiny platinum coils are placed inside the vessel in the brain causing the bleed. This then prevents the vessel from growing or rupturing further.  

When Dave woke up from his procedure, he said he felt surprisingly good. He had no head pain or sickness after the treatment but was experiencing fatigue and sight problems.

Dave said “I felt brilliant after the procedure. The only thing I was left with though was double vision, this worried me as I didn’t know whether I would be able to be as active. There was no guarantee that the double vision would correct itself, so that was my only concern.”

Thankfully, the double vision began to disappear. Dave explained “Before the aneurysm, I was cycling 200 miles per week and I’m an avid walker and hill climber. My biggest fear was that I would not be able to return to this level of fitness. It’s been an interesting year and a half, but I am finally back to the level I was before the aneurysm. I couldn’t be happier.”

Dave, now 58, will continue to have yearly check-ups and scans at The Walton Centre to monitor his progress.

Dave expressed his gratitude to The Walton Centre saying “I have nothing but praise for the people in the NHS. I honestly couldn’t be more thankful for the amazing staff at the hospital for their exceptional care.”

  • Summary:

    200 mile a week cyclist Dave is fighting fit after recovering from a bleed on the brain