Health Checks Saves a Life at Royal Cornwall Show
14th June 2018
The Adventists in Area 1 of the South England Conference are visible every year at the Royal Cornwall Show, one of Britain's biggest agricultural county shows. It boasts an average visitor count of about 130 000 annually.
7-9 June, 2018 was no different and the volunteers from churches around the area were there to offer free health checks, tracks and leaflets. The stand even included a make-your-own Smoothie Bike, that especially attracted the children; while the parents were checking their cholesterol and blood pressure.
We choose the same stand every year, which means that we often get repeat visitors from previous years. Many come with their score sheets of the previous year to compare how well they were doing in keeping up their health practices. The homecoming experience is always pleasant because it not only inspires those who are there for the first time and overhear the conversations, but the exchanges often leads to deeper emotional and spiritual conversations.
One such alumnus entered the marquee last week, with a smile beaming from her face. We recognised her from the previous year because of the challenges we had with our equipment while she was being very patient. Before anyone could say anything, she exclaimed and thanked us for saving her life the previous year.
Pleasantly surprised, Stella Jeffery, one of the volunteers tried to recall the experience. She remembered that in 2017 our blood pressure machines played up, and while she tried to get it fixed the lady waited, because she wanted her blood pressure taken so badly. By the time we got them sorted, we took her blood pressure and the machine recorded a very high reading. Stella then suggested we wait a while and do another reading, because sometimes people are anxious about their readings and as a result push up their blood pressure. Once again, the lady was patient and waited. After a few minutes her blood pressure was taken again and recorded the same reading. She was then advised to see her doctor just to confirm.
When she returned this year, she confirmed that although she did not feel ill, she went to see her GP the next day and told him about her experience at the show. After doing some checks the doctor praised the church's venture, because he confirmed that the lady suffered an aortic aneurysm that caused her blood pressure to reach such high levels. She was literally on dangerous health territory.
He immediately prescribed blood thinning and other medication to get her out of the concerning situation. Unfortunately, in our excitement we didn't get to take a picture with the lady, but the legacy remains in our memory and makes the Adventists in Area 1 excited to return next year to minister to the community in that unique way.