S’porean, 38, shares how he, as a fit person, also suffered a massive heart attack

Never take the symptoms lightly.

Zhangxin Zheng | December 22, 2018 @ 06:38 pm

A 38-year-old Singaporean man has taken to Facebook to share about his near fatal health scare.

Wanting only to be known as Mr See, he shared about how his close shave with death came about after experiencing an unexpected heart attack on Dec. 18.

Caught off guard

The heart attack caught him off guard as he has been an active and physically fit person and never did he realise the discomforts he felt previously were signs of heart attack.

See shared that he tried to lead an active lifestyle such as swimming at least four days per week prior to the incident.

Symptoms

See had been feeling discomfort in his chest area, left arm and shoulder area a few days before the heart attack occurred.

However, it did not occur to him that those were signs of an onset of a heart attack, as he thought they were just muscle aches from workouts.

His smartwatch also indicated that his heartbeat was much higher than normal and he felt breathlessness even after a short jog but he did not think too much about these symptoms.

He still continued his daily routine even though the discomfort in the three areas persisted before things took a turn for the worse.

Call ambulance immediately

While riding his motorbike to school on Dec. 18, he started to perspire profusely.

The discomfort worsened after he came down from the bike which prompted him to go to the hospital to seek medical help.

He wanted to take a Grab ride to Changi General Hospital (CGH), but the ride was eventually cancelled after 10 minutes of wait and the driver could not find him even though he had arrived.

By the time he called the ambulance, he was already too uncomfortable to speak.

He had to call 995 again to share his exact location with the paramedic after resting for five minutes.

By then, he was already covered in sweat and could not focus properly due to the heart compression.

The ambulance arrived after 10 minutes and took him to the Accident and Emergency department immediately.

Diagnosis

See’s main artery was found to be blocked 100 percent so it was a massive heart attack — as classified by the doctor.

The doctor also shared that the risk of getting a heart attack may be due to genetics and cholesterol. Smoking could be contributing factors in See’s case.

Fortunately, he was brought to the hospital in time and underwent Balloon Angioplasty, which successfully relieved the blockage in the artery.

However, his heart no longer functions as well as before and at a lower capacity, and he can no longer donate blood as he used to.

After this incident, See also hopes to highlight the importance of regular medical checkup.

Read the full post here:

I’m not sure if this is going to be a long post, but I’m intending to write this experience, as memories, as a sharing, as a reminder.

My 181218 Heart Attack.

Yes, many people who has seen me physically might not think that I will face a heart attack situation. But 18 Dec will definitely change the whole myth, a myth that fit people won’t get heart attack.

So what happened?

Few days (16 and 17 Dec) before the incident, I did experience some DISCOMFORT on my chest, left arm and shoulder area, which I passed off as a muscle aches due to workouts. 
Even a short warm up jog caused me to have BREATHLESSNESS and my HEART BEAT indicated on my Garmin was extraordinary high.
But I passed it off as muscle aches (again) and didn’t think much about it, even though I suspected I’m having a heart attack.

Yesterday, the routine went as usual. 
I felt the DISCOMFORT on my CHEST, LEFT ARM AND SHOULDER. I knew something was wrong, but have no idea what was it. 
So I continued to ride my bike to school. Along the way, I kept my focus on the road despite the uncomfortable feeling, which kept me alived. I reached school safely.

That’s the onset of my heart attack.

I started to PERSPIRE PROFUSELY from the head.
Knowing something was wrong with me, I booked a Grab to go to CGH (which was a wrong move). After waited for 10 minutes, the Grab driver told me that he had arrived but don’t know where was my location. It’s too much an effort to tell him my location, so I told him to cancel the booking and I called for an AMBULANCE (995).

During my first call to the ambulance (995), I did not give my exact LOCATION as I was totally uncomfortable, and couldn’t express myself properly. After waited for 5 minutes, I called 995 again to give my exact location. (Please give detailed location so that it’s easier for the paramedic to locate the one in need).

By then, my whole head, face, body and legs were covered with sweat… It’s not a good sign 
I couldn’t sit still for awhile, the compression of the heart made it too hard to focus on anything.

“Breathe deeply and slowly”, the ambulance staff told me over the phone.

The ambulance arrived in about 10 minutes from the moment I called, and I walked up to the ambulance myself so that I can save some times (image they have to bring down the stretcher, put me on it, wheel it up onto ambulance, it would have taken a lot more time). They immediately set me down inside the vehicle and took my ECG. The bad new: my ECG was NOT GOOD. They proceed to contact the A&E department to make the necessary arrangements.

When I arrived at A&E, a team of medical staffs was already on standby for my arrival; they immediately worked on me before sending me to operation theatre.

A group of professionals worked on me immediately when I arrived in the OT – unlike those we watched in drama, the real thing is much faster, much more professional.. all I told them was “my body is yours now, do whatever you need.”

Result:

My main artery was 100% blocked and a balloon procedure was done, a stent was insert in. The procedure was successful (God bless).

It’s certainly an unforgettable experience, an experience which I must keep for a lifetime just in case such a thing happened again (touch wood).

And with this experience, my days as a blood donator is over.

Doctor termed it as an massive heart attack, and I’m luckily to survive this. Just that my heart now function at a even lower percentage.

If you have read to this point, please take any discomfort seriously, especially at the chest region..

And in the event of unknown, just call for an ambulance, NOT GRAB, TAXI OR ANY OF THE PRIVATE HIRE.

To myself and all my friends, stay healthy.. and happy.. keep that blood pressure low…. 🙂

Top photo from See’s Facebook (all photos are pixelated upon See’s request to minimise public attention on himself).

About Zhangxin Zheng

Zhangxin’s favourite pastime is singing Mulan’s soundtrack in the mangrove forests. She hopes to perfect the art of napping in a hammock in the mangroves without being drowned by rising sea levels.

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