From the Author, Thank You to the NHS!

I thought I would let people know about what has happened to me in recent days, and how it is likely to affect Friends of Pakati. This is also an expression of my gratitude to the NHS, the National Health Service here in the UK.


Well, here is the story….some of you may already be aware of it from my personal social media posts over the last week.

Saturday night, 3rd July. 10.30pm, after the England match against Ukraine. I went to bed, but started to feel pain in the centre of my chest, with discomfort as I lay down trying to sleep. Around 2am it hadn’t improved, but after a couple of paracetomol, managed a few hours sleep.

Sunday morning, 4th July. Woke up around 7am, still in pain. It went on, not horrendous pain, but constant, affected mostly with my heartbeat. I decided that at age 63, chest pain usually means one thing: heart problems. So I got up, tried to eat but could only manage a small amount of breakfast. I showered & dressed, & everything I did took time. I felt the pain throughout across the centre of my chest only, and around 9am walked slowly to the nearest taxi rank & went to our local hospital – Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI) – and entered the Accident & Emergency section. It took around 30-odd minutes to get seen at reception, then sat & waited to be called.

Thankfully not many others were there, so I was seen in Triage, and soon after I was called for an ECG to assessy heart briefly. Clearly it indicated a problem, & I was taken to the High Dependency Unit (HDU), where further tests suggested a serious problem. They contacted the hospital in Leeds 12 miles away where immediate relevant treatment was available. By 4.30pm I was in their Coronary Care Unit (CCU). A theatre was available, and after an Ultrasound scan showed one of my heart valves was not pumping properly, they explained it indicated a likely blockage in an artery.

This was confirmed during an Angiogram. This lead to a common procedure, done while I was awake. Only a local anasthetic needed, and the team told me what was going on throughout. They found 3 different blockages, over 2 arteries. It required a stent being placed in each one, then expanded to open up the arteries to allow blood to flow more normally again.

All was completed in around an hour or so. I was kept in the CCU overnight, then sent back to BRI for observation & monitoring on Monday 5th July. Gradually over those 2 days the monitiring & observations reduced as I moved away from danger. I was released on Wednesday,  7th July.

Home. On my birthday! In spite of the health scare of a heart attack, I felt pretty good to be honest. The pain & discomfort were gone, and apart from tiredness & plenty of new medication, things were mostly normal!

Of course nothing will be the same in reality. Diet, exercise, lifestyle will need to change for me. I can deal with that. Everything will be done to ensure the chances of a repeat are massively reduced.

So, my personal life is going to have to adapt. But, without the amazing NHS, it could have been a very different story…so I would like to repeat my thanjs the the NHS in general, and to the staff at both BRI & LGI who treated me with such care & professionalism a huge THANK YOU!!!!!👏👏👏👏

I believe – thankfully – that this should not affect Friends of Pakati at all, as there are several things already almost ready to publish. Also as I continue to recover in the coming weeks, I hope to be able to do all the things I have planned. Including the event on 7th August. I aim to be there, even if it is for a shorter tine than planned. Plesse keep supporting us!



My name is Chris Walker, and between January 1989 and September 1991 I worked, through VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas), at Pakati Secondary School in Murehwa South district in Zimbabwe. I was a Maths teacher for 2 years, the Acting Head for the last 8 months there. I have also taught in Botswana & the UK, had 4 years working for VSO, and have been a Civil Servant in Bradford since 2005.

4 thoughts on “From the Author, Thank You to the NHS!

  1. Great to hear Chris!!Will continue praying for full recuperation.Massive thanks to NHS for the timely diagnosis and medication.Looking forward to hear more about friends of pakati on the 7th of August.

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