"I was able to go back to my part-time job within just three weeks"

When trumpeter, Peter Cripps, 72, had a CT scan for a kidney stone it was discovered he also had an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

“Just before Christmas I had the most horrendous pain in my abdomen. I had a CT scan, which revealed I had a kidney stone. Thankfully, that was quite small but, more worryingly, the nurse told me I also had an abdominal aortic aneurysm. The surgeon came to see me straight away and recommended an open AAA operation which was done on January 16 2007.

“I’d had a four-way heart bypass four years earlier and five years before that a heart attack and I was convinced I was not going to make it. But the operation went really well and I was out of hospital a week later.

“I felt weak and tired and I was quite insecure when I first got home. But I tried to do a little more each day and was soon back on my feet. In fact, I was able to go back to my part-time job fitting insulation mats on yacht engines within just three weeks. I play trumpet in a band and was able to start blowing again four weeks after the operation.

“I have to admit there have been a few problems since the operation. The surgeon warned me that because the abdominal aorta runs down in front of the spine it might interfere with my nervous system and that this could interfere with some of the ‘important bits’.

“It’s true, things are not as brilliant in that department as they used to be. But there are always ways and means. Your digestion packs up too and I’m still not eating how I used to. I have lost a bit of weight and I’ve had a few problems with my bowels – mainly constipation – but I was told to expect that and I take laxatives.

“The scar is healing nicely but it does still twinge a bit from time to time. Having said all that, I’m feeling better by the day and I’m just grateful it was found when it was, otherwise I might not be here.”

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