An Ayrshire clinical director has thanked the Largs Medical Group and the NHS for helping to save his life.

Iain Jamieson, who lives in the town and also works as a GP in Irvine, said he was so grateful to the National Health Service for important surgery - as well as Largs GP Rachel Fraser, who identified a subsequent issue which required re-admission.

He said that the service 'needs to be cherished'.

The 54-year-old has had a tumultuous 2023 after falling ill when on a walk on Largs seafront in May, feeling pains in his chest. His wife Jo-Anne called an ambulance.

He revealed: "I now feel 150 per cent of what I used to be and have twice as much energy. One of the things I want to stress is the strength and kindness of the NHS which helped get me through this."

Ian is a GP at Eglinton Medical Practice in Irvine, where Jo-Anne also works as a nurse, and he said he is so thankful for all the support he has received since his heart attack.

He said Largs Medical Group at Brooksby 'played a blinder', and described it all as 'very humbling'.

He said: "As a GP myself, it is such a privilege to be able to look after the people of Ayrshire and be part of that system, but I have now seen it from the other side."

Iain also serves as forensic medical examiner, working closely with Police Scotland.

He required heart surgery in May, before a second visit to hospital just a month ago after a complication developed.

Even when he had to wait in a corridor overnight for surgery upon readmission, Iain marvelled at the goodwill and support on offer from nursing and medical staff.

He said: "My re-admission was only a few weeks ago after I had some difficulty breathing and got it checked out at Largs Medical Group - and they were excellent.

"I saw my GP and they immediately readmitted me and was referred that same day to the hospital and although I had to spend that night in a corridor I got good attention and moved to a single room as soon as one became available."

Largs and Millport Weekly News: Iain and Joanne Iain and Joanne (Image: Iain Jamieson)

"I had to wait in a corridor or a bed and the nursing staff were so helpful and kind. The care I received was exemplary, even the small things such as being offered a slice of toast to a glass of water, these were all small acts of compassion that make you feel better.

"I am staggered by how sometimes the NHS is not appreciated and while it is not without its faults, there is no other organisation in the world that goes the extra mile every day, When you need to count on them they make sure you are looked after."

Iain admitted that he has changed his ways after going through his ordeal after 'getting into a trap' of having a poor diet - often eating kebab, or chips and cheese, after a long shift, but now realises that 'comfort food' is not the answer, as it had taken its toll on his body system.

The local grandfather is a clinical director for NHS Ayrshire and Arran and was greatly touched by all the messages of goodwill he received in relation to his heart scare from all the different work spheres he is involved with.

He said: "Never a day has gone by were someone hasn't asked about my health.

"The NHS is without a doubt an absolute good and contrary to some narratives the envy of many countries across the world. It’s a bit little like your granny’s favourite china though, built for a bygone age: it is fragile, beautiful, but liable to crack under pressure. It is also incredibly hard to repair,  but impossible to replace."

Iain added: "The operation was a coronary artery bypass to have the arteries that feed the heart bypassed. They also took an artery from the internal mammary artery and they basically re-wired the whole heart.

"Where I had the narrowing it was in a very awkward place to stent them, but if I hadn't had the bypass, then I would not have been salvageable, and it is unlikely to have been survivable if something bigger had happened down the line.

"Re-admission was for fluid that had gathered behind the heart and the lung; they gave me treatment which helped and has made me feel better.

"At the end of the day my life has been saved, and through the help, concern and support I have received, it is humbling and wonderful and they have given me the engine to recover and keep moving forward, and it is because of that I am here.

"The NHS is brilliant and Largs Medical Group really deserve a shout-out for getting a difficult diagnosis right; I can tell you as a GP that is not an easy thing to get right - and it was thanks to Dr Rachel Fraser.

Largs and Millport Weekly News: Doctor Rachel FraserDoctor Rachel Fraser (Image: Largs Medical Group)

"That is the miracle of general practice, especially given it is massively overwhelmed right now, and they happen to meet you on a certain day, and make a diagnosis which is esoteric - what are the odds in any other walk of life, and I appreciate these miracles for what they are, and it is wonderful to have experienced that."

He and Joanne are parents of three boys, 26, 23 and 21, and also proud grandparents.

Iain, who is a member of Largs Community Church, added: "I have a wee grandson Christopher who is 18 months, and because of all this great help and support, and I can now watch him grow up."