Thank­ful to see grand­kids grow

Kapi-Mana News - - CONVERSATIONS -

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.

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