My dad had his first major heart attack at 26.
Then at 37 had such a severe one he lay dead on Bondi Beach for 40 minutes while his friends (Bondi Lifesavers) worked on him tirelessly. They flew a helicopter in and, just when they told my mum there was nothing more they could do, they got a faint pulse.
As a 6 year old, my memories of that day aren’t great, but I do remember him hooked up to so many tubes in hospital! He had a triple bypass shortly after and doctors told him if he did everything wrong he would live for one year and everything right and he would get 10 years. He was committed to doing everything right and in the end lived until 53.
Both his parents (my grandparents) died of heart disease young, his mother at 43 and father at 52 – so he did outlive them. Sadly the damage to his heart was already done, these days I hear research that maybe 11 years ago (when dad passed away) might have given him other options.
Prevention saves lives
My brother and I religiously have cholesterol tests. It seems my brother got the gene and as a result has had heart scans, tests, everything you can think of because he is worried he will have the same future!
My dad’s doctor also recommended I get my three kids blood tests as soon as possible to see whether they have the genetic tendency for high cholesterol.
I guess I’m thankful that we got those extra 16 years with my dad, how different my life would have been to lose him at 6 instead of 24.
I support the HRI because I like to think that if we keep supporting The HRI, that maybe one day... one of these talented people will find a solution to the problem that took my dad away from us... all to soon.