Heart shock a health pointer

Central Leader - - News -

“Kia kaha Bubu Guts!”

That was the car­ing and lov­ing mes­sage I re­ceived from my mate John Tami­here just a few hours be­fore I was wheeled into a heart by­pass op­er­a­tion.

Yep, I never thought I’d be in this predica­ment – 47 years old, never smoked, no pre­ex­ist­ing ill­nesses and no al­co­holic ten­den­cies.

In fact the last time that I was in hospi­tal was when I was born.

This op­er­a­tion is a re­minder that we are not in­vin­ci­ble and men – par­tic­u­larly Maori men – have to get their act to­gether.

One in ev­ery two Maori men aged over 40 die of a heart at­tack be­fore they are 65.

That is an in­cred­i­bly bad statis­tic.

It sup­ports the ar­gu­ment that more has to be done in terms of ed­u­cat­ing the pub­lic about gen­eral health care and prop­erly re­sourc­ing health providers.

Maori health providers sur­vive on the smell of an oily rag, yet it’s our own peo­ple who have the worst health sta­tis­tics. The gov­ern­ment must do more or oth­er­wise the health cri­sis that con­fronts Maori will worsen.

Maori too must lift their game be­cause you can’t keep eat­ing fish and chips and then bleat about the hope­less Pakeha health sys­tem or that it’s all due to the im­pacts of coloni­sa­tion.

No – peo­ple must take per­sonal re­spon­si­bil­ity for their health checks.

That’s how I found out about my prob­lem.

I had no symp­toms, no angina, and no ob­vi­ous prob­lems what­so­ever.

Yet a rou­tine check has given me an op­por­tu­nity to avoid a heart at­tack.

So get out there and do the busi­ness – not just Maori men – all men.

Even if it means get­ting hor­ri­ble mes­sages from creeps like John Tami­here.

Lis­ten to Wil­lie Jack­son on Mon­day at 10am on Ra­dio Waatea 603AM

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