Glenn Daniel's memoir tells of his career in radio and life-threatening health battles.

Broadcaster Glenn Daniel's personal pledge

March 2018

Glenn Daniel's memoir tells of his career in radio and life-threatening health battles.

Glenn Daniel's memoir tells of his career in radio and life-threatening health battles.

Veteran radio journalist and broadcaster Glenn Daniel has released an autobiography of his extraordinary career working with the biggest names, events and news stories of the past 35 years.

News Time: A Life in Radio is an insider’s account of seven iconic Sydney radio stations and more than three decades of rising well before dawn to bring Sydney the latest news.

Currently, Glenn is the Breakfast co-host and News presenter on smooth 95.3 and is a former Group News Director of the Australian Radio Network and News Director of 2SM, 2DayFM, Triple M, and WSFM. He lectures in radio news at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School.

Glenn, 56, will donate 100 per cent of the profits from the sale of News Time to Royal Prince Alfred hospital’s Cardiology Department to fund research into transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI).

His decision is a very personal one: In 2011 Glenn had open heart surgery to replace two valves (aortic and mitral) that were damaged during radiotherapy for cancer in 1986 when he was 25.

TAVI is a highly-specialised and relatively new procedure where diseased heart valves are replaced via a minimally invasive procedure and without the need for open heart surgery.

Clinical Director of the Cardiovascular Service at Sydney Local Health District, Professor Phil Harris, and interventional cardiologist and TAVI specialist Professor Martin Ng, say Glenn’s generous donation could contribute to the expansion of the TAVI program to more patients.

Professor Ng says TAVI has “revolutionised cardiovascular care” and allowed seriously ill, frail and elderly patients who are too high-risk to undergo conventional surgical replacement to reclaim a quality of life never before possible.

“The conditions we treat [with TAVI] are deadly but the solution is transformative and the patients go home a few days later,” he said.

“Often they’ve been told there’s no options, no hope. After the procedure, when you see them able to do all the normal things we take from granted, it is so gratifying.”

The aortic valve allows the passage of blood out of the heart. Aortic stenosis, a disabling condition in which the aortic valve narrows and blocks, mainly affects people of old age. However, it can also affect a younger group of people who are born with an abnormality as well as people such as Glenn who underwent mantle field radiation in the 1960s to 1980s. Symptoms can include shortness of breath, chest pain and fainting episodes and without treatment, patients suffer terribly before eventually succumbing to the condition.

TAVI is a procedure that allows the aortic valve to be replaced via a keyhole incision in a patient’s groin, chest or sternum.

An artificial valve made of natural animal heart tissue is mounted inside a stent and compressed then inserted into the heart using long narrow tube called a catheter. The stent is expanded, the diseased valve is moved to the side and the biological valve begins to work.

Patients usually stay in intensive care for one to two days and go home in a week. Full recovery takes about two months.

RPA is recognised worldwide as a leading TAVI centre, setting benchmarks for excellence in clinical outcomes and pioneering several “first-in-man” variants of the procedure. Currently, about 50 patients a year go through the TAVI program, with plans to double that number in the next two years.

Professor Harris says the key to RPA’s success is the close cooperation of a multi-disciplinary team of cardiologists, surgeons, anaesthetists, radiologists, geriatricians, nurses and intensive care specialists.

Glenn was forced to take six months off from his beloved radio following his surgery. While he can no longer play competitive sport, he enjoys kayaking, cycling and walking and is “as well as we could have hoped for”.

His experience of open heart surgery underlies his wish to support innovation in cardiology and dovetailed with the release of his autobiography.

“It’s been a wonderful trip down memory lane and a reminder I’ve been very fortunate,” Glenn said.

News Time: A Life in Radio, published by Finch, was released on March 9, 2018.

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