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How a coronary stent saved my life – and why that makes me proud to work at Crown Agents /

Regional Director for East Africa meets Ukraine Acting Minister of Health Ulana Suprun

Last week, Crown Agents were featured in the New York Times for our work procuring coronary stents for the Ministry of Health in Ukraine. Our very own Bryan Richmond shares his first-hand experience of the life-saving power of the coronary stent device.

I was lucky, very lucky.

I felt quite fit, playing football twice a week, cycling and getting to the gym regularly.

And then it happened – whilst playing football I got a sudden pain in the left side of my chest. I put it down to tiredness and stress and played on. The next day, I got the same pain walking uphill and it got progressively worse.

I went to my GP who immediately said, “that sounds like your heart”. A few days later I was seeing the cardiologist. I was quickly wired up to a running machine and put through my paces. After three minutes, the pain came searing into my chest again. I now know that this was angina.

A few days on and I was lying trembling in the operating theatre having an angiogram to see the extent of my problem. The worse case scenario was blocked arteries that would need a triple by-pass. This was getting scary.

Photo of an opened medical stent
Photo: creative commons -: Lenore Edman

I was diagnosed with a completely blocked minor artery. But then I got lucky again – my blocked artery could be fixed with the insertion of a wonderful invention, a stent.

The day after surgery I was up out of bed and walking a mile. Within 6 weeks, I was back on the football pitch.

(From right) CEO Fergus Drake, Japan President Koji Takamatsu and Bryan Richmond with a technician in Ukraine.

I am so proud of the work we are doing in Ukraine to give Ukrainians the opportunity to get lucky like I did. I can’t imagine being diagnosed and then not being able to get the stent that would change your life. The stent is the miracle cure. This device saved over 400 lives in Ukraine last year and Crown Agents made it happen.

Bryan Richmond, Regional Director for East Africa

Crown Agents’ work procuring stents to the Ministry of Health in Ukraine, which resulted in a 20% reduction in hospital deaths from heart attack, was reported in the New York Times. Read the article here.