John's successful ablation


John Hefford was first diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation after he suffered from an irregular heartbeat, nausea and tiredness.

Atrioventricular node ablation

John, aged 78, was put on various drugs and finally fitted with a pacemaker in 2001, but to no affect.

"After trying everything under the sun to help it my doctor finally recommended AV node ablation in 2003, which cured my symptoms entirely.

"My atrial fibrillation was recognised easily because I had obvious symptoms, but I think it can be more difficult to identify in others.

"I have the deepest sympathy for anyone who suffers from atrial fibrillation. Although it isn’t life-threatening, I had attacks once or twice a week, which sometimes lasted a whole day.

"Not everyone with atrial fibrillation has symptoms, so it's really important people check their pulse. It's so easy to do and it only takes a few minutes."

If your pulse is irregular or if you're concerned in any way about your pulse you should make an appointment to see your GP.

What is an ablation?

Also known as a catheter ablation, is a treatment that hopes to correct or control arrhythmia, or an abnormal heart rhythm. An ablation is done using the same technique as an electrophysiology (EP) study and is often carried out at the same time.

Other stories of AF

AF is one of the most common forms of abnormal heart rhythm. Here are more stories from people living with AF:

Ian's atrial fibrillation
Alan's pacemaker
Philippa's AF and cardiomyopathy

Support life saving heart research

One of the first things we ever did was provide funding for pacemaker research at St. George's hospital and it was there that cardiologist Aubrey Leatham and technician Geoffrey Davies implanted the UK's first pacemaker in 1961.

We're still doing our best to fund research to lead to breakthroughs in the treatment of irregular heart rhythms so that people like John can have multiple treatment options. But we need your help to fund this research. Donate today to improve the lives of people like John.