'NHS saved my life': Minister to make full recovery after heart surgery

Richard Lochhead underwent emergency surgery after being diagnosed with sepsis.

Scottish minister ‘to make full recovery’ after emergency heart surgery Getty Images

A minister who underwent major heart surgery in May has said he is expected to make a “gradual and full recovery”.

Richard Lochhead had developed flu-like symptoms before collapsing and being unable to move.

The business minister was admitted to Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin before being transferred to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary for treatment.

He was later diagnosed with sepsis and underwent emergency heart surgery as a result of the infection in his blood.

Posting on social media, he announced he was back at home and thanked the NHS for treating him for the last six weeks.

“It’s difficult to find the words to adequately express my gratitude and admiration for the NHS,” he wrote on Facebook.

“For my consultant who operated on me and the many doctors, nurses and so many other staff who cared for me during my time in hospital.

“Their kindness, patience, compassion and professionalism blew me away and I will forever be grateful. They saved my life.”

Lochhead said he had never been seriously ill before and that it was his first time having “experienced the NHS up close”, adding that it was “humbling”.

“I also want to express my heartfelt thanks my family and friends,” he said, “for their love and support throughout and everyone who sent me messages and cards that meant so much to me.

“My outstanding constituency office team have continued to serve my constituents and process our casework. I honestly couldn’t ask for a better team and thank them for their dedication and hard work in my absence.

“It’s great to be back home and I feel lucky to be here. I now have six weeks of rehabilitation ahead of me and I look forward to returning to my constituency and Ministerial duties in due course and enjoying life to the full.”

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