Affair of heart as GP saves husband's life

A SIMPLE cuddle saved Steve Taylor's life after his GP wife laid her head on his chest and heard through his heartbeat that he had a potentially fatal medical condition.

Becky Taylor, 42, grabbed her stethoscope after detecting what she thought was a heart murmur and when her fears were confirmed she took her 44-year-old husband to hospital.

A consultant cardiologist carried out further checks that revealed Mr Taylor had an aneurysm of the ascending aorta – a bulging in the front of the heart which could burst at any time.

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He underwent open heart surgery to repair the aneurysm and to replace the valve and has now made a full recovery.

Mrs Taylor, a GP in Highfield, Sheffield, said: "Steve's condition was picked up by chance. If it hadn't been, we could have been out on bikes or pulling something heavy and it could have just burst, as happens to a lot of people.

"It's pretty rare for an aneurysm to be diagnosed in this way. Most of the time it presents itself with people having a pain in the chest and becoming very unwell.

"Steve didn't show any symptoms. At the time we were renovating the home we now live in which involved a lot of physical work and we also went skiing and mountain biking."

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Mr Taylor, who lives with his wife of 15 years in Bradwell in the Peak District, is building up his fitness and has now returned to work as a purchasing manager for a train manufacturer.

He added: "I was told that the aneurysm could have burst anywhere at any time and it would not have been picked up at a normal doctor's appointment. There would have been no symptoms, it would have killed me.

"If we hadn't had that cuddle the aneurysm would have gone unnoticed. I owe my life to Becky."