Thankful to see grandkids grow
This time last year Colin Young seemed fighting fit.
The long-time fitness enthusiast was cycling about 100 kilometres and swimming a few more at a local pool every week.
But six months after suffering a terrifying heart attack in December, the 57-year-old Whitby resident is feeling thankful to have been alive for the birth of his first grandchild.
‘‘It’s good to be alive. I have a granddaughter just been born and a grandson half-baked due [this year].
‘‘It’s good to be around for a few years to see them grow up.’’
It had been nearing the end of an extremely busy and stressful 2016 for the IT professional.
He was winding down after finishing a major project in November, and it felt like a cold had been waiting to rear its head for a couple of weeks.
He was returning from cycling around Plimmerton, about 17km into the ride, one Tuesday last December when he felt like he wanted to throw up. A metallic taste that had lingered in his mouth for days became stronger.
‘‘It felt like someone had got a big rope, wrapped it around your chest, and was slowly tightening it.’’
Young stopped, stretched, but the pain didn’t go. His energy faded and his sport-watch showed his heart rate had fallen to 34 beats per minute. It should have been about 160 after that exercise.
He called his daughter who took him to a doctor. The doctor called ahead to Wellington Hospital so the operating staff were prepared to save him when he got there.
Young estimated it would have been about an hour and a half from the time the pain kicked in to when a blockage in an artery in the righthand side of his heart was opened to get the blood flowing.
They did it by feeding a wire up a
Stop and rest now. Tell someone how you feel. If your symptoms are severe or they appear to be getting worse take action now. Or if you take angina medication and the symptoms have not been relieved within 15 minutes then take action now.
Dial 111 immediately. Ask for an ambulance, and if instructed and aspirin is available, chewone. catheter in his arm, and down through the blocked blood vessel. They then slid a balloon along the wire, expanded it in the blockage to push the fat to the sides, then put in a small mesh tube to hold it clear.
While he did not smoke and was not a big drinker, stress had caused his body to produce too much bad cholesterol.
That, coupled with a genetic predisposition - his mum needed a stent in her heart when she was 70 and his dad had a pacemaker - likely contributed to the blockage.
Fitness enthusiast Colin Young, 57, at Pauatahanui Inlet.