Blood Pressure Appeal Timothy West – Radio 4

Actor Timothy West spoke to BBC Radio 4 about the importance of supporting blood pressure testing

The following is a transcript of Timothy’s  Radio 4 Appeal on behalf of the healthcare charity the Blood Pressure Association.

It was the perfect August Bank Holiday Cath and her husband Glen were driving to a country pub to have lunch – on the way they stopped for a newspaper, Glen stopped in the car.  As Cath left the shop she was startled by the sound of a blaring car horn – she looked up to see Glen slumped at the drivers’s seat, his head on the steering wheel.

Glen had died from hypertensive heart disease, a late complication of high blood pressure which he’d had unknowingly had for years – he was just 39.

Rugby mad Glen had seemed fit and healthy with a fantastic future ahead of him, yet appearances can be deceptive.

One in three have high blood pressure

Like me, Glen had high blood pressure, unlike me he was not fortunate enough to know it – you see it’s symptomless – a silent killer. One in three of you listening today will have high blood pressure yet a third of you who do wont even know it

I’m one of the lucky ones – I was diagnosed with high blood pressure during a medical before starting a film. I got the support I needed to bring my condition under control – that’s why, twenty years later I’m talking to you now.

A group of cardivascualr professors were frustrated at seeing endless strokes and heart attacks caused by uncontrolled high blood pressure and formed a healthcare charity awareness organisation for the public’s benefit. The charity takes blood pressure testing out onto the high street. Over the past nine years they’ve provided free checks to over a million people who might not otherwise have known their blood pressure. They also support thousands of people already diagnosed with the condition.

Prevent tragedies like this – its horrific to lose someone but when its preventable its heart breaking.