A bit about who I am and what I do then if you care about your health read on and browse the blog posts where you will find a “gold mine” of of information about how you can change your life, have a better lifestyle and maybe reduce your risks from the number 1 killer on the planet, heart disease. I have over 40 years management experience in sales and marketing, working as an Area Manager, Regional Manager, National UK Manager and main Board Director.
My understanding of the importance of developing teams has always been at the forefront of my career. I am a Fellow of Ashridge Business School having studied Strategic Management for 9 months there which culminated in leading a presentation to The BBC EMIA (European and Middle East Division).
I have extensive experience of managing staff and teams and the resulting in both traditional and networking business models. Some recent assignments:
- Delivery as part of the core team of Project Management workshops
- Coaching Effective Leadership and Employee Engagement with a major UK logistics company
- Training and Developing of Direct Sales Teams
- Managing a “live” communication event across 34 sites involving over 6000 personnel
- Consulting with an International Law Firm and Asset and Wealth Management Corporation
- Employee Engagement workshops
- Developing an eight module skill development programme for the Process Industries
- The importance of culture in a business and how it can impact on results
Campbell says: “Music is my passion and when I’m not listening to it I play the guitar and studied the theory of the instrument at The Guitar Institute in London. I also love to travel and have spent almost 9 years of my life living and working outside of the UK.” This is a “must read” What your about to read is not my life story, I will save that for another time. I have had a fantastic life but things came off the rails in 2002 when I lost my job for the first time in my life. I thought that was bad enough, little did I know things were about to get a whole lot worse. Every time I tell this story I’m asked the same questions by my friends, family and people I meet for the first time who ask me what I do now? And how I came to be where I am now? Living in Lockerbie Prior to moving to Lockerbie I spent 3 years in North Wales and prior to that I lived in a pretty posh part of Spain down on the Costa Del Sol. I decided to share what I have been through with as many people as I can in the hope that I may be able to help others with their lifestyle. It may be health, wealth or just that you want to be able to off load on someone who has total impartiality. I may not have all the answers but I sure as heck will do my best to find someone who does. Here’s why 🙂 The story below was posted on a web site in 2005 and to my knowledge was the “most read” of all the stories on the Heart2Hearts site. So here’s my story….. The hardest thing I found about starting to write this was that I was a “wee bit” unsure of where to start and a bit worried about how I would feel as I poured out my personal experience and worst fears onto paper. Starting at the beginning is always a safe bet but there is really no point in starting at the very beginning of Campbell Young’s life after all, the readers, me included, are only concerned about one part of our lives now our illnesses and recovery. But here’s a quick version. Age 48, Divorced, Two Grown up kids Lorna and Simon, 1 son-in-law Sean and 2 of the Grandest Grand Kids ever, Courteney and Harvey. Born Glasgow 8/8/1957 and brought up by my adoptive Parents in Airdrie, Archie and Mary Young. Already you can see I was raised in the “Heart Attack Belt” of “Bonnie Scotland” where copious amounts of Fish and Chips and Great Scottish Breakfasts, Dinners and Suppers are washed down with booze and fags. I was a non-smoker until I was 26 years old partly caused by what happened next and where I was working. Dad checked out at aged 57 on the 21st of March 1983 massive heart attack. I was in Saudi when it happened, watching the once revered Mr. S Hussein, using American $$’s and equipment to wage an almighty scrap with his next door neighbours Iran. I remember the day as if it was yesterday. I won’t say much more now about my parents or that time of my life as this is about now, me and not them. Suffice to say that morning I had lost my Dad, best friend and the brother and sister that I never had all rolled into one. Yes we were very close and I miss him as much now as I did in those early days of losing him. Mum struggled on for another 12 years without him with just her “wee dog” which my ex wife and I bought for her Mindy. Mindy was put to sleep in February 1995 and Mum died probably of a broken heart 2 months later. A heart that had, most likely, been breaking for 12 years since losing my Dad. I had already made, what I thought was a smart move. In 1990 I legged it south with my then Wife Marjorie and kids to England (Oxfordshire). Mainly, because of my job in the SS industry (sales and stress) but also in the hope of a better life, diet and a promotion. Well it did take me away from a chip shop on every corner. By the way my son wanted me to write this in “Broad Glaswegian” a bit like “Oor Wullie” or “The Broons”. Maybe someday when I feel happier with myself I will put it into Scottish for a giggle. But for now let’s make it easy and hopefully interesting for my fellow patients. OK now the bad stuff, I had been on and off the fags since I was 26, my mate who’s a Doc (GP) and a smart guy, states “you are an average of 7 a day man” So not a heavy smoker. My favourite tipple is Red Wine and since losing Mum in 1995 I have been easily consuming a bottle of red most days on my own. I was therefore somewhat surprised to find that an earlier liver function test was just slightly above normal and a recent one, 4 weeks ago was normal so nothing for me to worry about there apart from the cost. Weight? Yes at 5’8″ and of stocky build I have fought my weight all my life since leaving my teens. When people call people fatty and they don’t realise what a battle it can be must be the cruelest thing that anyone can say to someone who cares. That’s people for you. 1 year I would be 12stone 7Lbs, my best weight since leaving School and sometimes I would be peaking at 15 stones plus. Exercise yes mainly spinning and 5-a-sde football in my later years both of which I gave up when I was about 42 years old. Over the last 5 years, Smoke-Yes but stopped 4th March 2004. Drink-Yes Too Much after Mum died in 1995. Diet-Dreadful Lunch Most days consisted of pre packed sandwiches, crisps and diet coke. Often eaten whilst driving and answering mobile phones, The Old SS. Exercise-No certainly not during a 2 year period which found me back in the Scottish Borders, more of that later. Cholesterol? No Idea, High Blood Pressure-No always pretty good. 120/80. My last job was as a General Manager again a stressful job. For the very 1st time in my life, I was made redundant after only 9 months in the position on the 22nd Dec 2002, yes a nice Xmas Present from the French. I couldn’t even take them to a tribunal. In Feb 2003 I joined an on line gaming business which had the potential to a) Earn a reasonable income b) Go Global and c) Be much less stressful and a lot more fun, which for a while it was. My business partner lived in Dumfries and following a break in a nasty relationship I ended up staying with him and his family for a few months until I found my own place. 13 months after joining the business and with a team in excess of over 2000 members, I was an invited guest, at a business meeting, being held in Renfrew’s David Lloyd Tennis Club. It was the 4th of March 2004. The meeting was packed, the room I remember being very hot, I know it was too hot as I used to run meetings like this throughout my career and I remember complaining to the management about how hot the room was for me and as such must have been for the other members and guests. The meeting duly kicked off at 7.30pm and was over by just after 9pm. By 9.15pm I found myself in an informal debate surrounded by some fellow Scots all asking me to explain how the commission structure worked which I duly did. I had just put out a cigarette and as they left the room I turned to my mate Steve and said “I don’t f*****g feel well”. Pardon the word but that was what I said. The time was almost 9.30pm. I walked through to the bar and ordered a bottle of cold water. By this time I really felt quite ill but not in much pain, some discomfort at the bottom of my throat and what felt like pins and needles moving up into my jaw and down my right arm, not the left. Luckily for me we were 5 minutes away from Glasgow’s Southern General Hospital. I was admitted, given 300mg of aspirin an ECG and 2 Heparin jabs. The next morning 12 hours later my tropan test revealed a very mild MI. 0.38 was my score on the “Richter Scale” I was put on the usual drugs Aspirin 75mg, Atenolol 25mg 2 times a day, Clopidogrel 75mg, 40mg Simvastatin and off my own bat I started garlic caps and omega 3’s 1000mg. I was then discharged in the evening of day 5 following a successful 12 minute ECG treadmill test, which showed no signs of any damage to my heart. 4 weeks later, following a check-up and echo cardio at the Southern and General I started cardio rehab back in my adopted home of Dumfries. The region has a fantastic re-hab class run by Sister Karen McMeeken, Jenny Mark Cardiac Re Hab Sister and Linda Lockhart (The Boss) Cardiology Nurse Manager. They recently applied for and received lottery funding, which has helped them create a fabulous new facility for the staff and the patients. I was invited back as a guest for the opening never thinking I would be back, sooner than I thought, and as a bloody patient again. The difference in the two facilities is like night and day, I could write a full chapter on this alone and someday I might well do so. Suffice to say it was great that a grant from Camelot meant that the money was well spent by the team there. As well as supervised exercise twice weekly we are also taken though discussions and presentations every Monday on our illness, diet, stress management, medication and even given the odd quiz to make sure we pay attention. They also run or oversee the “Hale and Hearty” clubs in the region, for patients who want to carry on in supervised groups after the 12-week re hab period is up. “Hale” means Whole by the way!! These groups are full of super people and they are all now fitter than they were when they had their own particular events ranging from MI’s to Stents, Bypasses and we also now have one transplant patient attending. In November 2004 almost 8 months after my MI, exercising now 4-5 times a week never put a cigarette in my mouth again and taking all my medications, I started to feel “not quite right”. My BP was spiking, not bad and not often but it was rising along with a throbbing but not painful sensation in my throat. This went from maybe once a week to twice a week through till January when I called 999 because I really thought I was having a 2nd heart attack. I had to call 999 again in March, by this time I was so worried and no fun to be around. On both occasions I was given an ECG and on both times I was told by the A and E doctor that there was nothing wrong with my heart and that the chance of it being heart related was minimal, oh how wrong he was? Or was he? I was then referred to ENT by my GP and also treated for possible high levels of acid in my stomache. This came as no surprise as I have had tummy problems before. The ENT visit led to a sleep study where I was diagnosed with Mild Sleep Apnea and tried their air machine which was duly returned, anyone who has this and can use the machine well done!! Don’t all bloody men over the age of 30 snore like pigs anyway? Having never slept with a man I do not know the answer to this one so over to you ladies!! This next part I want to share with you because this is how my brain works. I’m a 47-year-old male (at that time), overweight not badly, ex smoker, drinks well over the recommended units for a male and most weeks. Has had an MI, has been doing regular and hard exercise since ending re-hab 4-5 times a week changed my diet to include more fish, veggies, water and fruit and 1 year later I feel worse. Oh and I was adopted so I have no family history that I am privy to. In May of this year (2005) I called my GP and asked for a private referral to see the local Cardiologist. By this time by the way, my business on line had stopped temporarily so no income coming in but thankfully it’s just about to re-launch. I was unemployed and fast running out of money and I still am but not for much longer. I told my GP the above story and 1 week later I had my appointment. Explaining what had happened to the consultant led to his famous last words to me, “we can do another treadmill test but there is only one way to be sure and that’s to do an Angiogram”. My first letter landed on the doormat, Treadmill Test 18th July 2005. Followed by a 2nd letter saying Angiogram 5th July. The Angiogram revealed 3 blocked arteries 2 at over 90% and 1 at over 50%. I would have to have a triple bypass. I remember feeling numb at the news, disbelief set in, then cracking joke after joke with the older guy who was in the bed next to me, he was 74 and had only managed to block two of his arteries in twice the time it took me to block all three, we laughed. A bit like you do when you get a fright. I also recapped everything that I had done during the 15 months or so since my MI and that’s what really got me down. Stop Smoking? Yes Exercise? Yes Better Diet? Yes BP-OK except on a few occasions when it spiked Cholesterol-was 5.9 now 4.7 Taking my medication-Yes Supplementing my diet-Garlic Caps and Omega 3’s In my mind none of it had done me any good or were my arteries already that bad that a) I was very lucky not to have another heart attack or a fatal one? And b) had the changes I had made meant that I was still around to have the angiogram and still here today to write this? The treadmill test went ahead anyway mainly at the request of the rehab team. They wanted to know how far they could safely push me in exercise whilst I was awaiting surgery. 12 and half minutes I managed on the treadmill proving again that my heart had compensated in some way and had found its own way around the 3 blockages. Nonetheless it had to be dealt with. How was I feeling now, I was shitting my pants, Why me? What now? My life is over!! I will never be the same person again!! And will I last the 26 weeks, which was the Estimated Waiting Time (EWT) for this procedure in Scotland. The next day I had a message on my ansaphone to call Professor Wheatley’s secretary at Glasgow Royal infirmary. I duly called and a cancellation meant I could have my Operation the following Wednesday, 27th July 2005. Somebody up there was looking out for me and I don’t just mean in Glasgow!! So no time to think about it, my daughter Lorna flew back from Spain on the 26th to be with me and stayed with me all through my recovery in both ICU and HDU. Funny enough I don’t really want to talk that much about the operation or the immediate aftermath other than the fact that two friends I know who have also had the same operation in the same hospital said that the worst part about it was the food and boy were they right. Needless to say Professor Wheatley and his team were marvelous both pre and post op as were the nursing staff, well most of them were and they know who they are. What I want to talk about is now, today, how I feel and what has prompted me to write this. The following is an e-mail that I sent to Dr Tait on the 13th of October 2005 and to whom I owe a lot. E-Mail Starts Dear Graeme I hope you don’t mind me e-mailing you but this last week I have become increasingly worried. As you know I came to see you in May and on the 27th July under Prof D J Wheatley had my Triple Bypass. Since I seen you, post op, the symptoms that I presented prior to my operation are still present. Mainly the feeling of something sticking in my throat and now since last Thursday the shooting pains in my throat have started again. I had to stop exercising at rehab last Thursday. Since then I have had a flu jab, Monday 10th Oct and for 24hours had flu like symptoms. Today I have been to rehab class and again I have the pains in my throat and around my lower jaw area but still managed the workout routine. I also had my U and E’s checked and Liver Function Test, all was ok there and I am about to move up to 10mg of Ramapril. My BP has been pretty stable at around 107/70 checked twice a week at the rehab class. I have stopped losing weight and although 10lbs lighter I am still 87kg and should be 75kg. Part of this I know is combination of bad diet and sleep. My sleep patterns are all over the place and as such I am eating at all the wrong times, as I have no appetite until it gets later in the day some times as late as 9pm? In terms of my sleep I only know I have a problem as my now ex girlfriend, who stayed last week, said that I am now almost impossible to sleep with because I keep trying to clear my throat when I am asleep and as soon as I fall asleep I start fighting with myself. I have also explained all this to Dr Taylor on an appt call yesterday morning and I shall copy him with this for his records. Lastly I have chest pain but I am putting that down to the wound and not Angina, I know 11 weeks have past but I feel that it’s still early days yet and should not expect too much too soon. I hope this explains my feelings at the moment and why I am so worried. Best regards Campbell Young p.s. A couple of years ago I would have made a huge joke about my girlfriend saying “I was impossible to sleep with” but at present I can’t see the funny side of very much! So what’s going through my mind now? In no order * Was the Operation a waste of time? * Has something gone wrong? * Have my new arteries clogged up already? * Am I going to die suddenly? * I will never be the same again? * I hate feeling like this; I used to be the life and sole of parties! * Why am I feeling worse 12 weeks on and that feeling has only really started again these past 2weeks? * Am I going to have a stroke next? And in today’s Daily Mail another scare about Atenolol users who are 26% more at risk of strokes? What next? * Has anyone out there gone through the same? * Have I got throat cancer? What I didn’t know then but I do now was that I was feeling sorry for myself and instead of preparing to live I was preparing to die at 48 years old, what an idiot. It would be unfair not to tell the readers that on top of my illness I have massive debts, which I cannot pay, I feel I cannot get a job now and that is adding to my pressure. If I go bankrupt so what?? Thousands are going bankrupt now and that’s partly down to the banks themselves for making it too easy for people to get into debt. I am more worried about earning a steady income and being able to live comfortably for the rest of my life, which I hope, like most, will be well into old age. For someone who has been all over the world, new cars, great income that might sound like more of the same. Not now. If I could manage just 1 holiday a year either in the UK or abroad that would do. As long as I can pay my rent, bills and get my health back that’s all I ask for now. Anything more will be a bonus. I wrote this because this is/was starting to beat me, I am neither a loser nor a quitter, and I know I can bounce back but I also know I cannot do it alone. Human beings always seem to make comparisons and when you do have a serious illness we get into that mode of Lucky V Unlucky. I guess looking at statistics I am lucky, that it happened maybe unlucky. The key I think is not to do with luck it’s simply about doing your best to stack the cards in your favour and being positive. I see people who I was in rehab with last year wrecked with booze and still smoking? What I think of them is of no relevance the fact that they have chosen to keep smoking is exactly that, there choice, their lives. I have no right to sit in judgment of others unless it directly affects my own safety and well-being. Do I support the Scottish Executives Decision to ban smoking in public places in 2006, you bet I do. Why, it means there will be more places I can go to and not come home stinking of smoke or having had my lungs panned by passive smoking. I hadn’t intended making any political statements but hey if it helps someone else put ciggys out for good then it will have been worth it. I am still concerned only about how I feel right now, I want to feel good, I want to be able to tell everyone my surgery has made me a new man but so far it hasn’t and it is driving me to despair. I had my 3 month fasting Cholesterol check today and luckily for me the “Vampire” was an ex CABG nurse, Margaret, she was so kind to me today and also insisted that I see my Doctor immediately, fat chance as it normally takes an age, not their fault they are just over worked but I have an appointment on Monday 31st October 2006 at 2pm I will let you know how I get on in my Xmas news letter.
In closing there are loads of people I would like to thank and I’m sorry if I miss anyone, but I don’t want to turn this into an “Oscar Speech” and bore you all at the end so in no order of merit. To everyone, friends, ex colleagues and family who have sent me words of encouragement either by phone, e-mail or get well cards a huge thank you. Ang and Don who stayed with me on the eve of my admittance. All of you who visited me in hospital, my ex Wife, Marjorie, Auntie Betty and Uncle Jimmy, Archie and Elizabeth McCallum. Alan and Auntie Doh and for also washing my “kechs” Auntie Doh. Of course the Medical Team under the leadership of Professor D J Wheatley. The Dumfries Cardio Rehab whom I have terrorised now for 18 months and for their ongoing support not just to me but all the patients. Pete and everyone at El Caballo de Espana. Ian and his family for their support then and now, also thanks to Caroline for putting up with my moaning! Alex for getting me out of hospital a day early and for 5 days after care at his home with Norma and Kerr. Jeff and his family for always being there for me in St Asaph. Sean, H and CJ (thanks for the pokemon necklace honey love Granddad Young xx) and last but not least Lorna and Simon without whom my world would not be worth a toss. I love you both from the bottom of my heart. Dad xx Finally To God! I doubt the use of forms are used but I guess I got a tick instead of a cross so I’m still here to write my Story? just as you all are reading it. God bless It’s now October 2009 and boy how my life is on the up. I live in Southern Spain and at 52 years old I have started playing my guitar again and teaching a close friend John how to play in return he’s teaching me how to play Golf. I have learned to wakeboard thanks to my son Simon and together we are both learning to Kite Surf. Not bad for someone who had almost given up on life and boy I will have much more to tell you all in the months ahead.
So here we are in 2021 having been through the pandemic of Covid-19 and the devastating effects this has had for all, some worse than other and not to mention the impact on economies around the world. Long-Covid has become a new buzz word with thousands who have survived the virus now suffering long term after effects and as we speed towards the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 the world appears to have turned it’s back on Afghanistan, however I’m still here telling stories and sharing the best information I can on dealing with heart disease and the impact that safe Nitric Oxide therapy using ProArgi9+ can have on the cardiovascular system.
I guess like most we missed a couple of years but in late autumn of 2021 thanks to the pressure placed on our business I decided to move on and for the first time in my life have moved from private sector to public sector by joining The South of Scotland Enterprise agency, SOSE in January 2022. And what a year of change and learning this has been for me. You can find out more about SOSE by clicking here