Sunday Territorian



SOCCEROOS legend John Aloisi sees life in two parts: before and after. A hero to millions, Aloisi’s open heart surgery in November 2019 saved his life, sparing wife Angela and daughters Alisia, 19, Katia, 17, and Amaya, 14, a broken future without him.

Today, at 45 Aloisi says his happily ever after is all about family. A passionate Heart Foundation ambassador, he is driven to “keep more Australian families together for longer”.

“People have busy lives, they put it to the back of their minds that they’re not feeling well and don’t get it checked,” Aloisi said.

“I know first-hand what it can do to families. A friend of my brother’s died of a heart attack at 42 very recently. He’s left four young kids and I can see what it does.

“The biggest thing is … if you aren’t feeling quite right, get it checked.”

Aloisi’s life ‘before’ ended when he began feeling a bit fatigued and short of breath while working out.

“I just thought that was myself getting on a little bit in age and losing my fitness levels,” he said. “But … I started to feel a little bit unsure when I sat on the couch and I could feel my heart really pounding.”

A visit to his GP led to cardiologi­sts discoverin­g a severely torn mitral valve.

“I was leaking 50 per cent of the blood that normally flows through that valve and my heart had expanded,” he said.

Heart Foundation interim group chief executive, cardiologi­st Professor Garry Jennings, said: “More

Australian­s die from heart disease than any other cause, tearing families apart.

“Through lifesaving research funded by the Heart Foundation, many Australian­s are given a second chance at life, keeping families together.”

Give with Heart Day is Wednesday, September 15. To donate, visit GiveWithHe­

 ??  ?? John Aloisi is urging everyone to donate.
John Aloisi is urging everyone to donate.

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