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“My brother, Jerry ‘the dinosaur man’ Adams, saved my life” – Ray Adams

By Niche, 22nd Nov 2019
3 min read
Jerry Adams with Alun the Allosaurus in Cwmbran (Credit: Ben Black)

Ray Adams, 55, of Niche IFA and CashCalc, underwent life-saving heart treatment after finding a narrowing in the left anterior descending (LAD) artery, commonly referred to as the ‘widow maker’. Two weeks later, Ray is back fighting fit with blood flow returned to 100%. But how did he discover the narrowing and what led him to getting checked out?

Earlier this year Ray’s brother, Jerry Adams, best known for purchasing a life-sized dinosaur for charity and attracting global news as a result, sadly passed away aged 58 from Coronary Artery Disease. Ray’s father and grandfather also suffered heart attacks at the same age, prompting Ray to visit St. Joseph’s Hospital in Newport for a full heart check-up.

Speaking about the test, Ray said: “It certainly left no stone unturned, especially the endurance stress-test, which involved running on a treadmill with the speed and incline gradually increasing to measure how the heart performs under stress. I was pleased to say I passed it and showed no symptoms whatsoever.”

This would come as no surprise to those who know Ray. Always active and with a healthy lifestyle, he balances family life with the running of both Niche and CashCalc – which, combined, have over 50 staff with an average age of 25 – this does wonders in helping keep him young and active.

Ray Adams taking part in a charity abseil to raise funds for St. Davids Hospice

However, the following CT Coronary Angiogram found two severe narrowings in the left anterior descending (LAD) artery of Ray’s heart. Commonly known as the ‘widow maker’, the narrowings can severely obstruct blood flow, leading to heart attacks which have a very high risk of death.

Further tests at the Royal Gwent Hospital, this time a Cardiac Angiogram, confirmed the severity of narrowings. The test involved inserting a small wire into the radial artery in the wrist, and feeding it through into the heart, using x-ray imaging to see restrictions in blood vessels.

The two arrows show both narrowings in the left anterior descending (LAD) artery

Led by Dr. James Cullen, it was decided the best course of action was to fit a ‘stent’ - a small mesh tube inserted into the artery - which expands to help keep the blood flowing. During surgery, a stent measuring 38mm long was inserted into Ray’s LAD artery of the heart, which thankfully restored blood flow to 100%.

Ray Adams said: “Even though I showed no symptoms whatsoever, what happened to Jerry was the catalyst for getting myself checked out. I couldn’t wait any longer. You could say Jerry’s last gift to me was to save my life, because if I wasn’t prompted to visit St. Joseph’s and undergo the fantastic work they do, I probably wouldn’t be here in 3 years’ time.”

Speaking of the experience, he added: “The British Heart Foundation reported that heart and circulatory diseases cause more than a quarter (28%) of all deaths each year. They also say there are around 7.4 million people living with these diseases in the UK. I therefore consider myself very fortunate to have been diagnosed and treated, so I hope sharing my experience can help raise awareness and encourage others to get checked out.”

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Ray, who has two children and became a grandfather in 2018, also added that he feels re-energised and intends to maintain his family/work balance. Speaking of the companies, Ray said that both are doing incredibly well, and he has no intention of giving up the reins anytime soon.

If you would like to find out more from the British Heart Foundation or to learn more about St. Joseph’s and the Elite Health Assessments, please take a look at the links provided below:

For more information about Ray's story, please contact [email protected]

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