Affair of heart as GP saves husband's lifewith a loving cuddle

Martin Slack

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.

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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.

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.

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“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.”

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.”