This is the story of Jeffrey and his journey through the diagnosis and treatment of a heart abnormality called a
"co-arctation of the aorta". This is a type of heart problem that a fraction of a percent of babies are born with,
and often doesn't cause trouble until later in life.
A co-arctation involves a narrowing of the aorta - which is the major blood vessel carrying blood from the heart to
the rest of the body. The diagnosis and treatment of this condition has been dramatically changed in recent years
through new medical technology.
The sort of MRI scanner used to image Jeffrey's heart has only been widely available for a few years, and it is only
very recently that they have been able to produce the sort of high quality images that make the problem very clear,
as we see in this film.
Co-arctation of the aorta has traditionally been treated with a major operation, involving opening the chest. But now,
as in Jeffrey's case, many patients with this problem can be treated through a small incision near their groin, through
which a special device called a stent is inserted.
Using live x-ray imaging, the surgeon can guide the stent through the patient's blood vessels towards the heart, where
it is used to widen the aorta.
Jeffrey's treatment is highly successful, and he is soon back playing his beloved football. He is, however, left thinking
that the sort of science he always found dull during lessons at school is rather more relevant to his life than he had