A man who has had 11 heart attacks had his latest operation cancelled – because of a lack of beds.

Ricky Ford says he suffers almost constant pain from an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) which was fitted in March.

It sends electrical pulses to regulate abnormal heart rhythms and alerts medics to any problems.

A third of the left side of his heart has been destroyed over the last eight year due to his 11 heart attacks, reports Stoke-on-Trent Live.

But Ricky's operation to replace and reposition the ICD was unexpectedly cancelled at the Royal Stoke University Hospital on August 14 – as he waited for the procedure at the Hartshill complex.

Now he faces having to wait until September 18 for the procedure.

Ricky said: “The ICD has been causing me hell since it was fitted. I’ve been in so much pain with it and sometimes it’s worse than a heart attack.

“There is also a fault with it so I want them to replace it as well as move it. It’s taken so long to get this operation arranged and then they cancel it, I am not happy.

“I had to rush and get up early to do assessments and haven’t been sleeping very well. I paid to travel to the Royal Stoke first thing for the operation and they checked me in and got me ready with a tube in my arm.

“I did everything that I was supposed to do to have the operation but a doctor then told me it was cancelled as there were no beds so they just sent me back home.

"This is totally ridiculous and bang out of order. My life is hanging by a thread and now I’ve got to wait four to six weeks.

“My life is at risk and now I have to wait weeks – and I could be dead before then. I don’t think I’ll even make it to my 60th birthday on September 21.

“And the same thing could happen again. If they have no beds now, they may not have beds then either. Something has got to be done."

Ricky, who lives in Stafford, added: “If there are not enough beds at the Royal Stoke then why not open more wards at Stafford's County Hospital and get staff to travel between them. Stafford is not the worst hospital in the country and getting to Stoke-on-Trent early in the morning is very difficult.”

Latest figures show there were 156 cancelled operations at the Royal Stoke and County Hospital in June.

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