A major emergency 1) emerged, and 2) receded with bewildering speed. The story starts in the small hours of Thursday morning, with the Professor feeling dreadful. After googling symptoms a heart attack seemed a distinct possibility, so we rang the emergency services — these arrived with impressive speed despite the snow, laden with equipment, and started treatment immediately. Getting him out was a problem though, so they mobilised the boys at RAF Kinloss, who uplifted him (literally) in a Search and Rescue helicopter. Some four hours after reaching the hospital, he was taken for an angiogram to get a look at his heart from the inside: they found a clot blocking a narrow vein, destroyed and removed it, and then dilated a couple of veins which hadn’t developed properly to the correct size with a little widget called a stent. So they not only removed the problem, they removed its cause, and the surgeon’s view is that there’s no longterm damage. So now he is recovering, and should be not as good as, but better than, new, since an unsuspected lifethreatening condition has been successfully identified and dealt with. He’ll need a good long rest, of course, but what is truly amazing is that it’s been possible to sort out something like this at the cost merely of some punctures, bruising, and a local anaesthetic. It struck me while waiting at a bus stop this evening that if there were ever a perfect occasion to use the word ‘eucatastrophic’, this is probably it. We naturally have something of a logistical problem for the next month or so, and won’t be doing much about Christmas, but the important thing is that the actual crisis occupied no more than about eight hours, and is now over. It was a bit like being struck by lightning. Only two weeks of term to go, thank God.
Update following hospital visit: having ultrasounded his heart today, the keen and active cardiologists say it is undamaged by the experience, so he’s coming home tomorrow.