Today, the 11th October, is now 33 years since I had my heart attack. My husband and I set off on a trip around Australia in August 1986, both of us were very active and in good health. All went well until we were in Perth and setting of for Rottnest Island. It was the first day of The America’s Cup trials. I had a pain in my neck and shoulder that day, but put it down to the fact that I had been carrying a heavy video camera around the whole trip. On the ferry, I kept going hot and cold, I went downstairs to get coffee twice, apparently this is what thinned my blood enough for it to get past the clot that had lodged in the top of the main artery to the heart. By the time we got to the island I was a bit of a wreck and had to be taken by ambulance to the small hospital there. I was treated by the nurses with assistance from the Royal Flying Doctor service who consulted over the phone. Eventually, I came good and they flew me to Perth. I was in hospital for a couple of weeks before I was flown back home to NSW, going by road was not an option! All was fine until I got a left ventricular aneurysm and had to be admitted to Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital to have bypass surgery in 1989. Dr Bruce Leckie was my surgeon.
I continue to have a pretty active life; gardening, swimming, sewing and selling craft items, painting etc. I have been caring for my very sick husband for the past 4 years which has been tough. He recently died. Since my heart surgery, I have not been sick or hospitalised (32.5 years) until September this year, when once again I was a patient at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, fortunately it was not for my heart! Apparently only 30% of my heart is working, so I think I am doing OK. I appreciate that my heart attack is probably nothing out of the ordinary, but the fact that I have survived this long is pretty good.