Silent killer goes unnoticed

Melva's story


Every year, the Rotary Club Tawa promotes the Stroke Foundation’s Big Blood Pressure Check campaign by setting up a site at New World Tawa. Two years ago, Melva joined her husband to help on the day, but little did she know that she had high blood pressure, only getting it detected at the event.


Encouraging people to get their free blood pressure check, Melva helped out at one of the sites for the Big Blood Pressure check day. During a quiet period, the volunteers discussed their own health, commenting on how fit and healthy they felt. One of the nurses suggested that Melva and her husband get their blood pressure checked, just to be sure that they were as healthy as they thought.

Melva’s husband had his blood pressure checked first and everything was fine. As Melva teaches Scottish Country dancing and regularly plays golf, she didn’t expect the result she received.

The nurse told Melva to check again with another nurse on site. The second nurse came to the same conclusion that Melva’s blood pressure was worryingly high. “I will never forget the chock on the two nurses faces when they saw how high my blood pressure was. We tried to suss it out – had I been standing too long? Had I been drinking coffee? But I hadn’t. The nurse was so concerned she booked me in for an appointment first thing Monday morning.”

“I just couldn’t believe it; I really didn’t think there was anything wrong, but you just don’t know unless you get checked. High blood pressure doesn’t give you any warning signs.”

It was a scary occasion and both Melva and her husband had an anxious weekend, waiting until Monday to see the doctor. The doctor prescribed Melva with medication and advised that she get her own blood pressure machine to monitor her readings. “I check my blood pressure regularly now because it gives me that confidence to know that everything’s ok. I still enjoy dancing and playing golf!”

Melva didn’t know much about high blood pressure before and credits getting checked to the campaign. “It doesn’t matter how well you’re feeling, still get checked. If your blood pressure isn’t right, it doesn’t make any difference to the way you’re feeling.”

Thanks for sharing your story Melva and Pat, we’re glad to see that the Big Blood Pressure Check helped you to understand and manage this health issue.