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Tommy, was diagnosed with a heart condition but faced a wait of at least six months for surgery

“Dad went for a pre-op assessment for a minor operation. During the tests, the doctors realised he had a heart murmur. He was sent for an emergency scan, but five months of further tests followed before he was told that the condition was the result of a birth defect that hadn’t ever been picked up, and he needed an aortic valve replacement.

 “He was transferred over to the surgeon’s waiting list – he was looking at a 12 week wait to see the surgeon himself, and then at least another five months before operation would be carried out.

 His health was deteriorating before my eyes: he was out of breath all the time and extremely tired – he was plodding along, but struggling.

“Dad was stubborn, embarrassed even. He felt others were worse off than him and didn’t want to ask, but then he fell ill during a Lodge meeting and his Brethren stepped in.

The Advice & Support Team helped us with the forms and the whole process was plain and simple. Everyone involved was very courteous. Me and Mum burst into tears when we got the letter to say that the grant to fund Dad’s operation had been approved. It was a weight lifted.

“After the operation, the surgeon said that Dad wouldn’t be here if we’d waited six more months. Until then, they hadn’t realised how bad his heart condition truly was.

“Dad’s doing brilliantly now. He’s just going back to work and is looking forward to his first Masonic meeting.

“I want to say ‘thank you’. You’ve not just helped Dad – you’ve  changed our family life for the better. The four of us are the only family we have   and we are now able to do more together.”

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