Being heart health awareness month, we would like to share a story from one of our members.
This is David’s heart story.
In July 2017, I was told I had 5 to 10 years to live or I could have heart surgery and get 30 years. In December 2017 I had 5 hours of open heart surgery to correct a hole in my heart (a congenital Atrial Septal Defect) which is rare in Adults and which I had all my life and didn’t know it).
It was tough on my family as they were told it would only be 2 hours of surgery. I spent 6 days in ICU (including 48 hours under general anaesthetic and three days with a metal tube down my throat so I could breathe). All up I spent 14 days in hospital, including another visit to hospital for 2 days to shock my heart to correct Atrial Fibrillation. I was blessed to know so many were praying for me. I never felt I was going to die. Also to make things interesting I also found out I was allergic to contrast dye which meant all my skin peeled off my hands, legs and feet.
Recovery was tough. It was taking me almost 20 minutes to walk 400m. Each week I increased by 400m and gradually rebuilt my strength. It took me 8 months before I could train again and 12 months to feel normal. I joined enerG+ 11 months after surgery and it has helped with my recovery. I had 12 months of physio on my ribs and lateral muscles impacted by the surgery. I can honestly say that 2 years of bootcamp before surgery saved my life, as my fitness was good and it was strengthening my heart.
My heart surgery was tough. Others are lucky to get away with a stent without opening up their chest. I am fortunate though that I haven’t actually had a heart attack. My cardiologist doesn’t want to see me for two years, which I am pleased about. I need to keep on top of my weight and my fitness.
We have a number of friends where the wives have had heart problems. Ladies, please don’t think it only applies to the men. Make sure you are on top of you check ups and keep cholesterol, blood pressure and your fitness under control. If you have chest pain, short of breath a lot, your arms feel heavy or you look grey, don’t risk it – get it checked out.
Look after your heart and hopefully you will never have to go through this. If you do however, we have excellent medical and surgical care here.
Thanks for reading my heart story.
For further information on Heart Disease and how to care for your heart, visit
Heart Research Australia https://www.heartresearch.com.au/
Heart Foundation https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/