Stagecoach employees in Worksop are being offered potentially lifesaving screening checks as part of a new health initiative inspired by their boss’s late father.
Michelle Hargreaves, managing director at the Hardy Street depot in Worksop, lost her dad to an abdominal aortic aneurism in 2003.
She “jumped at the chance” to offer her colleagues and their family and friends across Bassetlaw the opportunity to attend a simple ultrasound scan which can check for the condition.
The company is working with the AAA screening programme to hold sessions with their staff about the importance of attending these appointments and to provide screening clinics at the depot.
Michelle said: “It was the May Bank Holiday weekend and my parents had been staying with me – we had been doing normal things, out visiting places and making the most of the unexpected good weather.
“They left on the Tuesday morning for Oxfordshire to visit relatives in the mobile holiday home they had bought when my father retired.
“My father being aged 65 and my mother 60, they anticipated many years of travelling and making the most of the time they had together.
My father telephoned to thank me for a wonderful weekend and they would speak to me later in the day.
“About 15 minutes later, I took a call from my mother to say she thought my father may have had a heart attack and could I make my way to hospital.”
There Michelle received the devastating news her dad had passed away from an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
He had no symptoms and there was no warning.
Michelle said: “We were shocked because he had not been ill, he just complained of backache, but put it down to his age.”
An AAA is a swelling of the main blood vessel in the body, the aorta, which weakens and expands. There are no symptoms and if left untreated the swelling can lead to a rupture and a serious risk of death.
Men in their 65th year are automatically invited by post to attend a screening clinic.
Michelle is keen to raise awareness of the condition and encourage Stagecoach employees to attend the screenings.
Men aged over 65 working on their coaches, trains or in the offices will be offered the ultrasound scan on site, and others will be encouraged to take information back to their relatives.