Broadcaster Barry Soper Conquers Near-Fatal Heart Surgery, Advocates for Annual Check-ups

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Seasoned broadcaster Barry Soper underwent a hair-raising open-heart surgery recently, an episode that teetered on the brink of life and death, revealed his wife and broadcasting partner, Heather du Plessis-Allan. A discovery of a vital blockage in Soper’s heart, mere weeks from potential catastrophe, catalyzed the emergency medical intervention.

The couple, parents to a young son, Iggy, was joined by Soper’s five adult children in shedding tears and silent prayers as Soper laid under the skilled hands of his surgeons. Barry Soper, entrusted his life to the hands of the veteran political correspondent for Newstalk ZB, as he prepared for the four-hour ordeal that was triple-bypass surgery.

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The surgery, though marred with unforeseen complications, thankfully culminated in a triumphant success. Du Plessis-Allan recalled the heart-stopping tension of the surgery day, where at one point it had seemed touch-and-go. She shared an alarming incident about a euphemistically termed ‘ooze’ that translated to a loss of two buckets worth of blood.

However, a quick-witted intervention of blood transfusions stabilized Soper and set him on the path to recovery. Eagerly anxious to return to work with renewed vim and vigor, Soper’s present disposition is the liveliest his wife has seen him in months. Unyielding in spirit, Soper is giving the nursing staff a run for their money, forcing them to ensure he doesn’t prematurely jump out of his hospital bed back into his work boots.

The broadcaster first noticed his heart symptoms after gasping for breath and feeling vaguely light-headed after one of his regular six-kilometer walks. Two weeks of denial later, a diagnosis revealed four blockages in the coronary arteries caused by calcium buildup, prompting immediate action. Soper now fervently advocates for annual check-ups, declaring, “The heart is the engine room of your body and everything you are. If that fails, of course, you’re not here.”

Today, he abundantly thanks the medical staff, including the talented nurses and surgery team, led by esteemed New Zealand surgeon Indran Ramanathan. Amidst the heartfelt tributes, support poured in from politicians like Winston Peters and Christopher Luxon, and the Prime minister’s office as well.

The benevolent New Zealander’s kind messages of support pleasantly overwhelmed Soper. Holds out hope to return for Newstalk ZB’s election-night coverage on October 14, alongside his wife, Mike Hosking, and Kate Hawkesby, the timeline depends on his recovery pace.

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