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I had been suffering shortness of breath and mobility problems for about eight years when I approached the charity to help.

Lyndon had been experiencing shortness of breath and mobility problems for eight years before he approached the charity to help. The Foundation provides health and care support to Freemasons and their eligible family members who have a long wait for treatment or surgery through the NHS. Lyndon told us:

“I regularly visited my consultant and other specialist for various types of treatment. Nothing worked and I just continued to feel worse and worse every day.

On the latest visit to my consultant, he mentioned he’d seen a paper on pericarditis and he believed this condition would cause my symptoms.

By this time, my quality of life was shocking; I was gasping for air and could not walk more than a few yards unassisted.

I could hardly hold a conversation because of my shortness of breath never mind leave the house.

When I was finally diagnosed with constrictive pericarditis, which is an inflammation of the protective sac surrounding the heart, my consultant explained I needed urgent cardiac surgery.

Still, the NHS waiting list for surgery was nine to 12 months wait.

I applied to the Freemasons for help funding private surgery because I knew that there was something seriously wrong. When my grant was approved, treatment moved very quickly and the operation was conducted within a few weeks.

The surgery was a great success. When I was in recovery, the anaesthetist explained that the lining of my heart was so damaged that if I had waited any longer, I’d be a gonner.

Friends tell me how good I look now and after eight years of a serious heart condition, I say, no wonder I look better!

Back at Lodge, I tell my colleagues there was no chance of me surviving this without the Freemasons, their charity saved my life.

I think people can be embarrassed to approach the charity and ask for help with funding treatment or surgery. When I speak to my Lodge, I say it’s better to be embarrassed than in the crematorium.

It’s silly to hide behind shame when your life is at stake.”

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