My friend Colin is 82 years old and lives on his own. He had a heart attack during Christmas in 2010 and was kept in hospital for a week, diagnosed with myocardial infarction. Since then he sometimes had short breath and mostly it could ease off itself. But one night in October, he had a more severe one which made him very panicky, so he phoned me to ask for help. When I got to his house, he had just called the ambulance. He was sitting on the bed side panting. His chest was full of bubbling noise and he couldn’t speak. In his hands there was a plastic basin, in which I could see some phlegm with a pinkish colour. I immediately realized he was having an acute pulmonary oedema. I said to him maybe I could make him feel a bit better before the ambulance came, if he wanted to try acupuncture, and he agreed. So I inserted a few needles in his hands and legs, and did some strong manipulations. After a few minutes, he seemed to have a bit more strength to bring up more phlegm, though his chest was still full of crackles. Fifteen minutes later the ambulance arrived, and he was taken to Carlisle Hospital. I was told afterwards that on the way from Penrith to Carlisle Hospital, which was about 30 minutes’ drive, he didn’t get any worse. The doctors in the hospital prescribed some drugs and put him in the general ward. He felt better shortly then was discharged three days later. Colin had a good week at home before another attack of heart failure. Again in the middle of the night, I got a phone call from him saying that his heart rate was going fast and breathing was getting difficult. When I got into his bedroom, he was sitting on the bed slightly panting, looking anxious. I could hear some crackles in his chest but not half as much as it was last time. So we tried acupuncture straight away, and after about 5 minutes he said: “I think my heart rate has slowed down, and I’m feeling better.” To make sure the condition maintained stable, I left the needles in for another half an hour until he was feeling confident enough. He said: “I’m very much grateful. You have controlled it brilliantly. I think I’ll try to get some sleep.” A few weeks later, an angiogram showed that Colin had some blocked arteries in his heart and an angioplasty surgery was carried out successfully.