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Saving lives with simple tests

Aunty Mary Waites from Brewarrina. Photo by Naya Jeffries

When Ngemba woman Aunty Mary Waites from Brewarrina signed up for a research trial to help reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease in Aboriginal people, she had no idea one of the lives it would save would be so close to her.

Returning home from her weekly women’s group with a smartwatch to monitor her risk factors, the 55-year-old told her husband that she had had her blood pressure checked at the local Aboriginal Medical Centre, prompting him to do the same.

“When Lindsay had his test done there was an abnormal reading, so we saw a doctor and travelled to Dubbo Hospital for more tests,” Aunty Mary said.

Those tests revealed Lindsay had two and a half-blocked arteries. He was promptly booked in for surgery at Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, with the surgery revealing another one and a half arteries were also blocked.

“Lindsay had no symptoms or pain, the only reason we found out about this was because he had a simple 30 second check done,” Aunty Mary recalls.

“I would encourage all our people to get tested. It’s just a few seconds that could save your life”.

Read more in the printed edition of The Western Herald.

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