Heart surgery

Lowestoft man Ben Hurren had heart surgery that saved his life

2:04 PM August 5, 2022

Friends and teammates of a man who underwent life-saving heart surgery united on the football pitch.

Having been “increasingly sick” for a few months earlier this year, Ben Hurren had one of his heart valves replaced in April after his health deteriorated.

The 37-year-old, from Lowestoft, was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect and underwent open-heart surgery.

Ben Hurren in hospital after open heart surgery.
– Credit: Ben Hurren

Following emergency heart surgery, Mr Hurren worked with his former football team manager, Craig Aldred, to organize a charity match last month in support of the British Heart Foundation (BHF) – with £1,500 raised .

The charity football match saw their former team New House take on Hawthorn FC at Kirkley’s Walmer Road headquarters and Pakefield FC, who have kindly donated their facilities.

Reflecting on the past year, Mr Hurren said: ‘I was getting short of breath very easily and was losing weight.

“But as the weeks passed, I continued to feel worse and felt like my body was shutting down.

“I found it difficult to walk even short distances without feeling exhausted.

“Then one day I felt so bad that I decided to join A&E.”

At the hospital, doctors carried out a series of tests and Mr Hurren was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect.

He was born with a faulty heart valve which now prevented the proper circulation of blood in his body.

Mr Hurren, who works in adult social care, said: ‘It was a huge shock.

“The cardiologist told me that I needed surgery.

“I asked if that was my only option. He said, if you want to live, then yes.”

Two days later, he underwent open-heart surgery at Papworth Hospital to replace his aortic valve.

“After the operation, I immediately felt better,” he said.

“I immediately felt that I could breathe properly.”

Ben Hurren, right, with his friend and football team manager Craig Aldred

Ben Hurren, right, with his friend and football team manager Craig Aldred.
– Credit: Ben Hurren

Although he was unable to take part in the charity football match as he recovered from surgery, Mr Hurren said: “It was nice to get everyone together and raise so much money.

“I also want to thank my partner Paula who really helped with fundraising.”

On average, about 13 babies are born each day with a heart defect – with more diagnoses later in life.

The BHF funds research into conditions such as heart failure, stroke and congenital heart defects, to improve their treatment, prevention and cure.

You can still donate online to support his fundraiser.