Bob waits for new chance

BOB Fitzgerald always worked hard and played hard.

The 59-year-old who moved to Benaraby five years ago needs a heart bypass.

Bob has recently pulled out all stops to make sure he can have the operation.

But his determination can't be matched by the health system and Bob faces nearly a one-year wait until he can have an angiogram to determine the damage, let alone a bypass.

In 1997 Bob was diagnosed as having severe angina and probably needing a bypass.

Bob refused to give up his lifestyle and kept living hard, and smoking hard.

While Bob would have liked to have had the bypass surgery done, he wasn't prepared to give up nicotine after 45 years of smoking.

Bob smokes about 50 strong cigarettes a day and couldn't face quitting smoking to have the operation.

But recently his angina has become worse and there are a few things he still wants to do.

"I'd like to see my grandkids grow up,'' Bob said.

The Benaraby man's health has deteriorated rapidly and Bob was serious about quitting if it would give him the chance of a few more years of life.

However his wish for life may not be granted as he cannot get in for an angiogram until September and a further date for the course of action.

Bob feels nearly useless after the drastic change in his health to the point where he can barely mow the lawn.

"I've had a pretty, rugged, rough life,'' Bob said. "I can't believe it's me, with what's going on in my head and my heart.''

Bob spent ten years working with the army, has worked in wool sheds and as a railway worker.

Now all he wants is to be able to regain even 50 per cent of his previous fitness and health.

Until September Bob's blood-thinning heart tablets have been increased and all he can do is wait.

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