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Denis Grant

March 2007


Scottish Pulmonary Vascular Unit - Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom (UK) - Pulmonary Hypertension - Denis Grant


My name is Denis Grant.


I was in hospital at the time in Perth when a doctor called Peter Brown saw me walking in the ward and that I was breathless after about 50 yards. He sent me to Dundee in October 1995 for some lung tests and could not find anything wrong so he made me an appointment in Glasgow to see a specialist called Dr Peacock who diagnosed me as having Primary Pulmonary Hypertension.


Then the doctor told me that I would need to go into hospital for some tests.


There I met another doctor who worked with Doctor Peacock at the time, his name was David Raeside and he carried out the tests on me and then they put me on a calcium channel blocker called Diltiazem, which of course was a tablet that had worked on some people and not on others, but it helped me for a while. Then I came off them as they were making me take fits now and then.


I went back on them for another while until at last on August 1999 I was taken off them for good and admitted into hospital again for a new drug trial called UT-15 via a little pump.


When I was in the hospital I thought I was on the new drug but it was a placebo. It was water not the real thing but nobody knew this.


I met my nurse specialist at the time who was Gillian Hamilton and was given the new medication via a little pump. I had to learn how to use the pump and how it worked so I was in hospital for a week then was home with my little pump and my medication.


My nurse in the ward who was looking after me and making sure I knew what I was doing was a nurse called Jim Mearns at that time and now he is my nurse specialist in the SPVU.


I call my little pump Ruby because it's a diamond as it keeps me going and I'd be lost without it. I think that without my little pump and the dedicated specialist team that we have in Scotland, we who suffer from Pulmonary Hypertension would have nothing and no support in Scotland at all.


It is great to have these people on our side as they care for the lives of me and others like me. My pump has been a life line to me as it has changed my life completely as I could only walk about 50 yards or so before I got my little Ruby and was always tired. Now I can do almost anything I want to do and I have retrained from being a chef to an administrator which I love doing as I am now going to work for a charity which has helped me.


I also know that you can get a bit of pain with this pump but if I get pain I just change the site to another site. It has given me a new lease of life which others take for granted.


I can't imagine what life would have been like without my little pump, Ruby, and without the care of Professor Peacock and his team of highly trained specialists. I don't know what I would have done without their help.


Then came the PHA Pulmonary Hypertension Association UK, who have a conference once a year and there you can learn more about your illness.


When I went to the very first conference I thought I would be alone but I was wrong, as I met others who suffered the same illness as me.


This is where you meet the real people who understand and suffer from the same illness. There you can share your experiences with each other and help one another with everyday problems that we have.


We give each other tips on how to try and manage our loves better with the illness and it is a great way to meet new friends who share the same illness as you and me.


Denis Grant, Glasgow.


SCOTTISH PULMONARY VASCULAR UNIT - All rights reserved - Clydebank, Scotland - 0141 951 5497 - SPVUnit@gjnh.scot.nhs.uk