The Courier saved my life

Kathryn Aldous, left, Paul Crossley and Kath Thorpe, screening co-ordinator
Kathryn Aldous, left, Paul Crossley and Kath Thorpe, screening co-ordinator

Buying the Halifax Courier helped save the life of a man who had an undetected aneurysm in his bowel.

Paul Crossley spotted an article in the Halifax Courier urging men to attend a Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) screening and said that moment saved his life.

The scan detected a 7.4 cm aneurysm. Mr Crossley, from Mill Hill, Sowerby Bridge, underwent surgery soon after.

The 68-year-old has encouraged other men to go and get themselves checked and hailed Kathryn Aldous, who also leads the AAA screening programme at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, as his “heroine”.

He added: “I don’t usually buy the Courier but read it and got my appointment. Now I buy it every week. I think someone is looking after me. The scan is something or nothing. It took two minutes and they tell you everything there and then. It is a superb scheme and a lifesaver in my case.”

Kathryn, who also leads the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme at the trust, went down to the Houses of Parliament on behalf of the screening team, to celebrate the successful national roll-out of AAA screening.

Kathryn said: “This is very much a team effort across the West Yorkshire area and we are all delighted for Mr Crossley. His life has been saved by screening which is what this simple test is all about and we would encourage everyone invited to take part in this important programme.”

The West Yorkshire AAA programme screened over 5,000 men in 2012/13 and of these over 130 are now being monitored and 12 have been referred for surgery. The rates of AAA in West Yorkshire is 1.8 per cent which is above the national average of 1.4 per cent.

Men aged 65 are automatically invited for a simple ultra-sound test which highlights if they have an aortic aneurysm. If required, surgery or monitoring is arranged as a follow-up.

Mr Crossley, a former Webster’s drayman, added: “I didn’t know Kathryn Aldous, I had never met her but she is my heroine.

“If it wasn’t for me reading her words encouraging people to be screened I wouldn’t be here now.”