Ray Adams, 55, Chairman of Niche IFA and director of CashCalc, underwent an operation after a narrowing in the left anterior descending (LAD) artery, commonly referred to as the ‘widow maker’ was discovered.
Two weeks later, he is back fighting fit with blood flow returned to 100%.
But how he discovered the narrowing and what led him to getting checked out makes the story even more intriguing.
Earlier this year Mr Adams’ brother, Jerry, best known for purchasing a life-sized dinosaur for charity and attracting global news as a result, passed away aged 58 from Coronary Artery Disease.
Ray Adams’ father and grandfather also suffered heart attacks at the same age, prompting him to visit St Joseph’s Hospital in Newport for a full heart check-up.
Speaking about the test, he said: “It certainly left no stone unturned, especially the endurance stress-test, which involved running on a treadmill with the speed and incline gradually increasing to measure how the heart performs under stress.
“I was pleased to say I passed it and showed no symptoms whatsoever.”
However, the following CT Coronary Angiogram found two severe narrowings in the left anterior descending artery.
The narrowings can severely obstruct blood flow, leading to heart attacks which have a very high risk of death.
Further tests at the Royal Gwent Hospital, this time a Cardiac Angiogram, confirmed the severity of narrowings.
The test involved inserting a small wire into the radial artery in the wrist, and feeding it through into the heart, using X-ray imaging to see restrictions in blood vessels.
It was decided the best course of action was to fit a ‘stent’ - a small mesh tube inserted into the artery - which expands to help keep the blood flowing.
During surgery, a stent measuring 38mm long was inserted into the LAD artery, which restored blood flow to 100%.
Mr Adams said: “Even though I showed no symptoms whatsoever, what happened to Jerry was the catalyst for getting myself checked out.
“I couldn’t wait any longer.
“You could say Jerry’s last gift to me was to save my life, because if I wasn’t prompted to visit St Joseph’s and undergo the fantastic work they do, I probably wouldn’t be here in three years’ time.”
He added: “The British Heart Foundation reported that heart and circulatory diseases cause more than a quarter (28%) of all deaths each year.
“They also say there are around 7.4 million people living with these diseases in the UK.
“I therefore consider myself very fortunate to have been diagnosed and treated, so I hope sharing my experience can help raise awareness and encourage others to get checked out.”
Mr Adams, who has two children and became a grandfather in 2018, also said that he feels “re-energised and intends to maintain his family/work balance”.
Speaking of the companies, Ray said that both are doing “incredibly well”, and he has no intension of giving up the reins anytime soon.