How technology helped a Wigan man who suffered an embolism while battling cancer

Danny Taberner with anti-coagulation nurse Angela Abbott
Danny Taberner with anti-coagulation nurse Angela Abbott

A Wigan man who suffered an embolism in his teens while battling cancer has used new technology to achieve his lifelong goal.

Danny Taberner was just 19 when he suffered from a devastating blood clot in his lungs which developed during treatment.

The lifelong Latics fan was initially diagnosed with a testicular tumour in April 2013 and following surgery, underwent three cycles of chemotherapy.

By the June, Danny was told that his tumour marker was negative.

However he then received the crushing news that the cancer, which had spread to a lymph node, would require more treatment.

In September 2013 he underwent Retroperitoneal Lymph Node Dissection, which left a 14ins scar on his abdomen.

Danny, who was due to start university in September, was miraculously able to begin his course six weeks later than everyone else. But a month later he suffered a massive pulmonary embolism which left him on oxygen struggling to breathe.

Following the life-threatening incident, Danny was determined to overcome the setback and follow his dream of going to university to study civil engineering. After recovering from the embolism - Danny returned to university and passed his first year with no resits.

Now the Westleigh 24-year-old has gained not one but two degrees in the subject and is pursuing his ambitions as a civil engineer.

He was able to combine studying for his graduate and masters degrees with treatment for his condition thanks to a digital health service provided by the local NHS which allows Warfarin users to test their own blood.

“Self-testing gave me the freedom to work here, there and everywhere without having to go to the clinic,” said Danny.

“The service allowed me to enhance my career and pursue my ambitions as a civil engineer.”

The service is safe, easy to use and gives patients the freedom to carry out routine tests at home instead of having to visit a clinic or GP surgery every few weeks for regular check-ups.

Warfarin is the main oral anticoagulant used in the UK and is given to patients to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke or other serious conditions.

An estimated 3,250 people taking the blood-thinning drug in Wigan.

The NHS wants more users to sign up for the service, which is free and available via GP surgeries throughout the town, thanks to Wigan Borough Federated Health Care.

It launched in 2015 and has been well-received across the borough.

Bryn Sage, chief executive of Inhealthcare, which provides the technology said: “We are delighted with Danny’s progress to date and are proud to have played a small role in his recovery.

“As well as helping to improve the quality of life of patients, digital health and remote patient monitoring also helps to reduce pressure on hospital clinics and GP surgeries.

“This service isn’t just for young people like Danny. We have users who are in their late eighties who love our technology because it is so easy to use.”

Patients are equipped with a self-testing device worth £300 which allows them to take INR readings and send these, via Inhealthcare’s technology, to their clinic.

Any readings out of range instantly generate an alert for clinical attention.

For Warfarin patients in Wigan interesting in joining the free service, visit www.warfarin-at-home.co.uk/wigan, call 01942 30 30 30 or email contact@warfarin-at-home.co.uk