Heart surgery was ‘like being hit by a train’

A councillor who has just undergone a major heart operation said his experience as a doctor made him more nervous about the procedure.

Dr Howard Bloom, who represents Southgate for the Conservatives, thanked well-wishers and medical staff who performed the operation.

The councillor said the coronary artery bypass operation was a success as he recovered at home following eight nights in hospital.

Dr Bloom said: “I’m as well as can be expected because it’s a hell of a big thing to go through.

“I don’t think you really appreciate how you’re going to feel afterwards. It’s a bit like being hit by a train. You really don’t appreciate the effect it will have on you, it’s such a shock to the system.”

Dr Bloom, who worked at Crawley Hospital and is now a part-time GP at Gossops Green Medical Practice, said being a doctor made him more aware of what could go wrong.

He said: “As a GP you know what the risks are and you always feel more worried. I’m very pleased to get through it without any complications.”

He was pleased by the wishes of support.

He said: “I’ve had lots of kind messages and emails of encouragement from people which are greatly appreciated. I would like to thank everyone who has supported me. I think I’m through the worst.

He had the elective procedure at St Anthony’s Hospital in Cheam, near Croydon.

Born in South Wales, Dr Bloom moved to Crawley in 1977 and was first elected to represent Crawley Borough Council in 1984 for Gossops Green.

He has worked as a senior civil servant at the Department of Health and the Department of Social Security. He took early retirement in 2004 and was elected back on to the council in 2006 for Southgate.

He is chair of the overview and scutiny committee in Crawley, and the deputy cabinet member for Health and Adult Services at West Sussex County Council.

He lives in Charlwood with his wife Sue and son David.