Sunderland grandad with heart problems praises NHS for two decades of care

Michael Roper.
Michael Roper.

A grandad who has bravely battled heart problems for more than two decades said today he would “not be here now” if not for the life-saving work of the NHS.

Pennywell man Michael Roper has suffered from health issues relating to his heart since 1996 and he continues to be monitored by doctors.

Michael Roper.

Michael Roper.

And he credits the health service with keeping him alive and living as full a life as possible.

“It all started when I began having chest pains and ever since then I’ve had problems,” said the 67-year-old, who suffers from Angina.

“I’ve had numerous chest infections over the years and there has been a lot of hospital stays.

“It’s something I’ve had to learn to deal with.”

NHS 70 campaign.

NHS 70 campaign.

SAFC season ticket-holder Michael today backed our NHS70 campaign, which is shining a light on people whose lives have been saved thanks to the work of medics.

“I came down with pneumonia this year and I was treated at home by the home care nurses who were just smashing,” he said.

“I am a lot better than I was thanks to them.

“Without a doubt I would not be here without the work of the NHS.

“The after care they provide as well as the initial treatment is fantastic.

“That’s why I have the highest respect and regard for the health service and its staff.”

For a number of years Michael has also been secretary of the Sunderland branch of the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

“For me it’s payback,” said the dad-of-four and grandad-of-eight.

“We’re trying to get the message over that the BHF not only does research for treatment for heart conditions, but also for things like vascular dementia, which is of course linked.

“We don’t get a penny from the Government so we really rely on the public’s generosity.”

This year’s Roker Ramble in aid of the BHF takes place on Sunday, May 6,

Those wishing to take part should email Michael at

* On July 5, the National Health Service will celebrate 70 years of pioneering medical advances and world class treatments - raising a toast to its dedicated employees and supporters.

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