A matter of the heart
The Beagle Editor,
Last Sunday I survived a massive heart attack, although I’m told it was a close thing. My survival was due to several predetermined factors, a dose of good luck, and the professionalism of staff at the Batemans Bay and Canberra Hospitals.
I am a 73yo male, relatively fit, diet conscious, non-smoker, and a moderate drinker (or close enough). My blood pressure and cholesterol readings have always been as they should be and regular medical check-ups have never indicated the time bomb in my chest.
I am a survivor, as have been over 50,000 other Australian heart attack ‘victims’ last year. But it is estimated that 40% of the nearly 8,000 that did not survive may still be with us if early indicators of an imminent attack were recognised and heeded.
My fork in the road survival moment came as I began to make the left hand turn into my golf club’s car park intent on a good showing in the daily golf competition. A pressing pain was developing across my chest and breathing came in shallow bursts. Instinctively I drove instead directly to the hospital where I had my severe cardiac arrest before I had a chance to fill out the admission form. I stopped breathing, but thanks to the quick thinking of hospital staff and a nearby defibrillator (‘Packer Whacker’) I returned to this world and then quickly dispatched to Canberra by helicopter. I am now back in Batemans Bay and happily planning for our 51st wedding anniversary dinner later today. Nice to be alive.
The intention of this article is to ask the reader to consider if he or she might also be at risk of heart disease, and to seek an assessment from the family doctor. Some useful information can be found at www.heartfoundation.org.au. This excellent site also details the early signs of an oncoming attack and the immediate steps that need to be taken.
Cardiac arrests need not be fatal.