Former Grimsby teacher found blood clot after reading Telegraph story online
HEEDING an appeal in the Grimsby Telegraph for men to have regular health checks may have saved a former Grimsby teacher's life.
Darren Burchall, 46 – who left Grimsby behind in December 2011 to take up a post in Brazil – discovered he had a blood clot on his heart after seeking medical advice.
However, he only decided to get checked out after reading a tribute to his friend Richard Taylor at www.thisisgrimsby.co.uk.
As reported, Mr Taylor, 34, tragically died of a heart attack after complaining of feeling unwell whilst playing for his beloved Grimsby Town Cricket Club on Sunday, September 9.
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Paying tribute to the popular and fun-loving mental health worker, his mum and dad Pam and Michael, and his brothers Ian and David, urged all men to undergo regular "well man checks" – adding "you never know what is going to happen."
And, after reading about their appeal, more than 30 of Richard's friends across the globe – including Mr Burchall – have done just that.
Mr Burchall, who had previously worked as the learning area director of ICT at Oasis Wintringham Academy, had been suffering with debilitating cramps in his calf for more than a week, when he read Richard's story.
He said: "If I hadn't read your story about Richard's family I might have met the same fate.
"I got stuck in a traffic jam going to the mountains a couple weeks ago and got thrombosis.
"However, the pain I got was the same cramp in my calf I used to get when I was batting back in Grimsby, which I had had on and off for almost two years.
"After nearly a week of not being able to walk 100m without getting debilitating cramp, I opened a link on a friend's Facebook account that led me to the Grimsby Telegraph's tribute to Richard.
"Two days later I decided to go to hospital. They did an MRI and ultrasound and found a blood clot on my heart.
"It turned out a piece had broken off and travelled into my leg, which caused the thrombosis."
Mr Burchall, who had played cricket alongside Richard in the Grimsby Town Seconds, and is a former captain of the side's Sunday Team Thirds, is now getting treatment for his condition.
He said: "I spent nine days in hospital waiting for my blood to thin enough to dissolve the clot in my leg, so that I could walk.
"They have put me on medication to thin the blood and they say the clot on my heart might dissolve in three to six months."
And Mr Burchall is not the only one to have heeded the family's appeal.
Pam and Michael have been told that as many as 30 people have already had medical checks – and their appeal has been read by people as far afield as Canada, Australia and America.
She said: "We have been amazed at the number of people who have seen it.
"For a lot of them, it was informing them about Richard, but it also made them think.
"It was standing room only at his funeral and 20 or 30 people said they had already been checked and more said they planned to make an appointment.
"We could never have reached so many people. It doesn't take away our grief, but at least we have helped people like Daz."