Man, 47, needed life-saving surgery hours after waking up with 'indigestion'

Patrick Hurley collapsed in the middle of the street and was taken to hospital
Patrick Hurley collapsed in the middle of the street and was taken to hospital -Credit:Andrew Brown Media

A hopeful Labour candidate for the Southport seat in the upcoming general election had to undergo life-saving surgery after mistaking a serious health issue for 'indigestion'.

Patrick Hurley has been campaigning vigorously for the seaside seat, which Labour hopes to win for the first time. However, his campaign efforts were halted as he spent the past few weeks recovering from his sudden health scare.

The 47-year-old "collapsed in the street" due to the pain and was left unable to move. He was then rushed to Southport Hospital and later Whiston Hospital where he was told his appendix had perforated.


The former Liverpool Councillor told the ECHO: "I was campaigning in the new estate in the Kew area of Southport two weeks ago. I had woken up with what I thought was indigestion, which had got worse through the day.

"At around 5pm the pain was so bad that I collapsed in the street. It was intolerable. I literally collapsed and had to just sit on the pavement. I couldn't really move."

Patrick's wife, who was with him at the time, took him to the nearby Southport Hospital, but with a sign informing them of a nine-hour wait in the emergency room, they continued on to Whiston Hospital. Unfortunately a similar waiting time was in place.

Mr Hurley, 47, added: "The staff were amazing but the conditions they are working in are extremely challenging. There were between 50 and 60 people in that emergency room waiting to be seen."

After several hours, Patrick was triaged and a health professional realised the severity of his situation. His appendix had perforated - a situation that can be a threat to life.

He said: "Without that person noticing, I could have been in real trouble. It is difficult to process that I woke up thinking I had indigestion and ended the day being taken for life-saving surgery."

The Labour candidate's surgery went well and after three nights in hospital he was sent home to recuperate before heading back on the campaign trail.

He said his experience showed him both how vital the NHS and its staff are for people and also what they are up against with the current state of the service.

He added: "I have got nothing but praise for the doctors and nurses who looked after me, they were fantastic. But they are working under intolerable pressure. We need to support them and to give them what they need."

"It also showed me that we can't take our health for granted. I am lucky that before this I have never needed surgery but you don't know when you will need the NHS like I did."

Mr Hurley is hoping to win the Southport seat for Labour from incumbent Damien Moore, who has held the seat for the Conservatives since 2019.