A KEIGHLEY man has spoken of how a routine blood pressure check “probably saved my life”.

David Myers, 49, believed he was reasonably healthy.

But when he volunteered to have his blood pressure checked at his workplace, the reading was exceptionally high.

Now, after a series of follow-up checks and appointments, David is on medication to control his blood pressure level and has taken steps to improve his overall health.

And he is supporting a campaign, launched to coincide with World Hypertension Day, urging businesses to sign-up for free checks for their staff.

David offered to have his blood pressure checked at the Bradford Homeless Day Shelter, which he manages, to encourage others to get tested.

He said: “I don’t drink or smoke and I walk the dog so I thought I was fairly healthy – I wasn’t really bothered about having the check done.

“When the readings were very high, I was advised to go to my GP practice to have it checked again. My reading was even higher.”

His doctor recommended tablets, but David ignored the advice and went on holiday to America to visit his brother.

“I ruined the holiday because I was so short and snappy with everyone,” he said.

“Even my brother noticed that I wasn’t myself but because of my mood he didn’t know what to say to me.”

When David returned home, he was asked to go back to his GP practice for another check.

“This time my wife was more determined than me and told me to go to the appointment,” he said.

“It wasn’t a surprise this time when my blood pressure was high, but it still wasn’t sinking in – even though there’s a history of heart disease in my family.

“However, the doctor gave it to me straight and this time I listened.

“He prescribed some tablets and talked to me about other things I could do to help lower my blood pressure, such as losing weight and getting more active.”

David has joined a gym and shed the pounds, and medication is helping to keep his blood pressure at normal levels.

The free blood pressure checks are being offered through a partnership between NHS Bradford City and Bradford Districts clinical commissioning groups and the British Heart Foundation. They are carried out by HALE, a healthy living charity.

For more details and to arrange a date and time for a workplace visit by the team, e-mail hannah.child@haleproject.org.uk or sara.malik@haleproject.org.uk or call 01274 271088.