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Heart tests save Dubbo man’s life as Westfund Health Insurance releases rural access report

Samuel Shooter had no symptoms when he went to see his GP, but he “had a feeling” something was wrong.

A family history of heart disease and type 2 diabetes meant the GP took the feeling seriously.

After a scan, the Dubbo-based real estate agent got the news it looked like he had a major blockage in his heart.

His GP referred him to a cardiologist, who was baffled by how well Mr Shooter looked.

He said Mr Shooter could medicate or get an angiogram for a more accurate picture. 

Mr Shooter said he asked his cardiologist, “I want to live. I’m 40, I have a wife and kids. What would you do?”

Major blockage

Six days later during the angiogram, Mr Shooter heard the medical team gasp at his results and he was immediately rushed to critical care at Dubbo Hospital.

The next day he was sent to Orange Hospital, more than 150 kilometres away, for emergency surgery.

“I went from the back of the ambulance straight onto the theatre table. Everyone was kitted up ready to go,” he said.

He received a 28-millimetre stent in his left anterior artery that was 95 per cent blocked.

If Mr Shooter had not had those tests when he did, he may not have survived.

“The surgeon came and put his hand on my shoulder and said you should have been very, very dead,” Mr Shooter said

“People who are alive with your kind of heart can’t walk.”

Samuel Shooter is transferred from Orange Hospital from Dubbo.(Supplied: Samuel Shooter)

Gaps in regional healthcare 

A report released on Thursday by not-for-profit Westfund Health Insurance has highlighted access to preventative care.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-11-02/westfund-health-insurance-rural-regional-access-care-funding/103055338 Heart tests save Dubbo man’s life as Westfund Health Insurance releases rural access report

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