Staring ‘Death ‘in the face – My story by legaleaglemhm

Hi Folks

Well you may have noticed that i have been a bit quiet lately on twitter and facebook and blogging.
This post tells you what happened.

Back in the summer of 2010 I was fully engaged in my ‘life in Law’ working at a criminal Law firm, starting my traineeship with my full legal career ahead of me.

But something was not right. I felt ill. So tired and with chest pains.

Taking sometime out and deciding that Intellectual Property law was where my interests are i decided to leave the criminal defence firm and go back to glasgow Univeristy to embark on a post graduate LL.M in Intellectual property law and the digital economy.It is a fabulous course and will give me a specialism.

All was going well with a few commercial firms making me offers of training contracts when my LL.M is over. But my health just didnt imporove.

I thought it was because I was in my 40’s and acted like i was in my 20’s. Chest pain dogged my summer and i was admitted 3 times to Glasgow’s western infirmary with posssible Heart attacks.

Each time the medical team thought that the pain was due to angina ( chest pain) and advised me to keep my stress to a minimum. A diffiuclt task when you are as busy as me raising two girls and being obsessed with law.
On the 23rd of novemebr i was sent to the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank for a procedure called an angiogram. Basicall they put a camer into the artery inside your arm and feed a camera into my heart to have a look and see what is going on.

I really thought they would tell me that all was well and I was just ‘getting old’.

Nothing prepared me for that day.

The medical team told me I had a life threatening Blockage inside my main artery inside my heart.If they did nothing I would die.
Every moment was precious.

When I came outside of the hospital I cried.

The only option for me was to have open heart surgery , the blockage was too big and in too serious a position for a stent.

I was sent home and told to do ‘nothing’ – no exercise , no stress and to call 999 at any sign of chest pain.

It was just coming up to christmas and i was terrified.

On the 6th of December the chest pains started. I thought I would die.

An ambulance was called and I was taken to the western where i would stay until the heart surgery.

In hospital my heart rate fell to 36 beat per minute and my blood pressure fell very low. I was very ill.

All the time I was terrified that i would not make it to christmas or see my girls grow up.

My family all came in to the western daily and just before christmas we had a wee christmas party in my hospital room.

On the 20th of December i was transferred to the Golden jubilee once of the Uk’s specialist Heart and Lung centres.
The night before my surgery the surgeon explained that I would need not a single bypass but a triple bypass as the blockage was covering three of my heart arteries. When my family left that night and I was alone I cried.

I had been told that they would saw through my breast bone with a saw and remove my heart placing me on a heart and lung machine. They would take artery grafts from inside my leg and breats and attach them to my heart bypassing the blockage. The operation would last for about 5 hours. I was warned that when i woke up I would feel like I had been hit by a bus.

On the morning of the surgery I was given a pre-med and taken to theatre. I was terrified.

I awoke in Intensive care around midnight that night.

It turned out that the medical team had operated and stiched my chest back up but I had had a major bleed and had to go back to surgery a second time and be re opened and the bleeding stopped.

My family were out of their minds with worry. they expected me to be in surgery for 5 hours but inside received a call which would leave them pacing up and down for anoth 4 hours.

In intensive care as I awoke I begged a nurse to bring me her mobile phone and to dial my dad’s number. In a grogy voice barely conscious i whispered ” I made it” to my dad and them my head fell to the side and the pain kicked in.

I was wired up to machines attached to my neck, chest, wrists with two huge drains coming out of the centre of my chest.I still had a breathing tube down my throat.

Taken to the high dependancy Unit I was carefully lifted from a trolley to a bed and the pain was terrible. I couldn’t move or breathe.

Gradually over the course of the next few days all the tubes came out and I strated to feel a bit better. My left lung had collapsed and i had to be put on a respirator to try to inflate it. The one thing that kept me going was the possibilty of getting out of hospital in time for christmas with my little girls.

I did everything I was told and despite the pain in my chest , my rib cage has been wired back up with metal and i have a huge scar that runs from my neck down to the base of my ribs and a 10 inch scar on my leg on Christmas eve I came home to my girls.

It has been a very quiet christmas but I am alive.

The recovery will take 8-12 weeks and I am determioned to make a full recovery.

Law is still one of my passions but It will take a back seat for awhile whilst I turn all of my efforts at getting well and enjoying every moment with my family.

This has been the best new year ever because I now have a working heart. I will have to be under the care of a specialist cardiologist for life and always on medication but its a small price to pay for my life.

Happy new year everyone – enjoy EVERY MOMENT like me.


Michelle.L.Hynes LLB(hons) DipLP


17 thoughts on “Staring ‘Death ‘in the face – My story by legaleaglemhm

  1. My goodness Michelle – what a nightmare
    for u and your family – I am so pleased that
    you are on the road to recovery – take care
    and look forward to hearing from you in the
    forthcoming year xx


  2. Great to hear you’ve pulled through Michelle and talking so positively. It sounds like the close call has given you a new perspective on your life.

    I hope you, your girls and your family get to spend as much quality time together over the many years to come.

    Keep getting stronger, take care of yourself and have an amazing 2012.



  3. Michelle, it is wonderful to hear you are making decisions that will help you on your way to full recovery. Your positive frame of mind will aid this, so do everything you can to keep it so. Laughter is essential so let us know what is guaranteed to make you chuckle.

    May be this will be a time when you can return to your Art work, another of your talents.

    Keep smiling brave lady!

    Thinking of you.


  4. You’re a trooper.

    Take it easy. The law will still be here when you’re fighting fit – whether you decide how and when you go back to it.

    God bless. You have your life. God has plans for you, kid 🙂


  5. U r a positive spirit in this too often world of dark. Hours, fees and charges don’t matter at all in the big grand scheme of things. I wish u a full and speedy recovery.


  6. Hi Legal Eagle

    A courageous description of the difficulties you’ve experienced over the passed few months. I genuinely appreciate you sharing this as your determination and sheer force of life with help others.

    I’ve followed you on Twitter for a while now & read something of your passion for law. You now know what is important in life and that law comes a very pale second to your health and your children. However, you will come back to it & appreciate it even more.

    I wish you a strong, rapid and full recovery. You know your body can recover fully and as your mindset is strong, this is already happening as day by day you get fitter & stronger.

    Thank you again for your honesty & courage. It will indeed be a Happy New Year for you & your daughters.


  7. Pingback: Scottish blog roundup: new thoughts cover old ground – Scottish Roundup

  8. Hi Michelle
    Have just read your story, whilst laying here on my sofa having left hospital 10 days ago with a near identical story to tell. It reduced me to tears being able to feel everything you have written. I am a few years older at 47 but apart.from that, very similar circumstances.
    Not much I can add except enjoy your family, Xmas and New Year.
    Kind Regards Mark, Wiltshire.


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