Media Release: How one truck is saving lives in rural Queensland towns

Posted on 9th March 2017

HOATwelve months ago Edward Finn from St George in Central Queensland couldn’t walk two blocks to the corner store without excruciating pain.

Burning in his torso to the point that he was on the verge of tears if he ever attempted the seemingly simple task.

He put up with some degree of pain for years, but one day it just became too much.

Presenting to the doctor with what he thought was a pinched nerve in his neck, it wasn’t until he was referred to the Heart Of Australia mobile van that he realised his pain could have a more sinister cause.

“I went to my doctor at the St George medical centre and I was complaining about what I thought was a pinched nerve in my neck,” Edward said.

“I went back to the doctor when it just kept getting worse.

“He referred me to the Heart specialist.”

A simple stress test on a treadmill and a thorough examination in the state of the art truck proved just that.

“I went to them and he put me on the treadmill and that’s when the bad pain started and they referred me to the Prince Charles hospital,” he said.

“It was pretty good – [Heart Of Australia Doctor Gomes] helped me, saved my life.”

When asked how long it would have taken for him to travel for specialist treatment if the HOA van wasn’t around, his response was “quite awhile”.

The result of the stress HOA evaluation saw Edward later hospitalised.

He went through open heart surgery and a triple bypass to insert a stent to fix his blocked arteries.

That was 34 weeks ago.

Now he is beginning to settle back into a normal – largely pain free – life.

“I can walk no worries now,” he said.

“I can do things without burning pain all the time.”

Of Heart of Australia and Dr Gomes and their services, he says he owes them his life and he plans to tell them that in 12 months’ time when he has his follow up.

“Without the Heart of Australia I wouldn’t be alive today,” he said.

“I’m going to tell him that they did a real good job to keep me alive today.

“My oath! I hope they keep coming out!”

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