Heart, by John Astley

A married  couple holding hands, close up

Heart Matters reader John Astley talks about his experience of having a heart attack at age 47.


You’ve had a heart attack, the doctor said

As I lay there stunned, on the hospital bed.

I settled back on the gurney,

Thus started this long journey.


The week before, I didn’t know

I had chest pains, I thought they’d go.

I’d waited a week to see my GP,

He was so concerned; I went to A&E.


My wife was there, she held my hand.

The doctor helped us to understand.

It’s in your family; he went on to say,

It was preordained in your DNA.


Who would’ve believed this, at forty seven?

I wasn’t ready to go to heaven.

Whilst lying there, one thought was dawning,

I was lucky to have this early warning.


A week of tests, maybe more,

I left my dignity at the door.

The week drew on, doctors came and went.

Friday came; they said I needed a stent.


They put a little tube inside my heart,

It helps to keep the walls apart.

The medical team worked their skills

And packed me home with a box of pills.


Popping tablets, six a day,

Is the small price I have to pay.

Drinking less and eating wise,

I’m getting used to the exercise.


My Father died at fifty one

Now I’m his age, I’m carrying on.

Over four years later, it’s been a while,

But I can face the future with a smile.

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