A bride-to-be who scans hearts for a living spotted a tumour in her own chest during a training exercise.
Amy Sherwood of Tattenhall underwent pioneering keyhole heart surgery within days and made it to the church to tie the knot with fiancee Simon Bowden just two weeks after the operation.
Amy, an echocardiographer at Wrexham Maelor Hospital, was undertaking some routine echo scan training with a colleague when she saw a tumour in her own heart.
The seriousness of the tumour – a left atrial myxoma – meant she was immediately referred to Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital.
She said: “Although I’ve been carrying out echocardiograms on patients for a number of years, never in my working life did I imagine that I would find a problem with my own heart – especially so close to my wedding day.
“Just a couple of days after discovering the shadow, I was taken straight into theatre and surgeons performed a minimally invasive procedure to remove the tumour.”
Amy is one of only a few patients in the UK to have had this sort of procedure. And because the operation was “minimally invasive” she was also saved from a 12-inch scar down the middle of her chest.
She got married as planned at St Alban’s Church in Tattenhall, Cheshire, on Saturday – just two weeks after going under the knife.
Amy, 33, said: “There’s no way I would have recovered sufficiently to make it down the aisle if a traditional surgical procedure had been performed.
“I’m just so grateful for the quality of care and treatment that I received from the surgeon Mr Modi and all his team which helped to ensure that my wedding was even more special.”
Paul Modi, consultant cardiac surgeon, said: “The traditional approach to removing an atrial myxoma involves opening the front of the chest and requires a three-month recovery period.
“Clearly, Amy would not have recovered for her wedding day with this and would have had a visible scar on the front of her chest.
“This new technique uses a small incision on the right side of the chest to give access to the heart and a high-definition video camera is then used to guide the procedure inside.
Mr Modi said he was “absolutely delighted” to have helped Amy, from Tattenhall, and sent his congratulations to the newly married couple.”