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Euan’s story

“I had a heart attack and didn’t realise it”

After having what can be described as a ‘silent’ heart attack, super-fit 62 year old cyclist Euan was shocked when he suddenly felt seriously unwell on holiday.

He felt so vulnerable and was worried about his recovery, until he began talking to our Advice Line nurses.

A complete surprise

You might think the effects of a heart attack would be so dramatic they would be impossible to ignore but that’s not what happened to me. I had a heart attack and didn’t realise it.

It happened in October 2018 while I was on a cycling holiday in Spain with friends. I found myself struggling to get up the hills when usually I’d be racing ahead of the group.

I was very out of breath and had some tingles in my arm. I felt a tightness under my chin but just thought it was the strap on my helmet causing a bit of friction and didn’t think too much of it.

My wife decided to call a friend of ours who is a cardiac nurse to get some advice and she recommended I get checked out, so I went to the local clinic in Girona.

I’ll never forget the doctor coming back to me and saying “I’m very sorry to tell you - you’ve had a heart attack.”

Feeling vulnerable

I was completely floored. I’ve always been active and health issues hadn’t ever crossed my mind.

When these things happen to you, you’re more vulnerable than you ever really know. I had concerns about my recovery and at one point was feeling quite down.

I called the Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland Advice Line and said I was worried about my health.

The nurse was absolutely amazing. I felt like she really listened to me and answered all of my questions. I was quite emotional about it all but she made me feel at ease.

I’m starting to feel good about myself and I’ve been getting more and more active too.

I’ve also started volunteering at Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland’s charity shop in Edinburgh which I’m really enjoying. It’s a nice way to give back.

People are leaving hospital feeling scared and alone. You can change that.

Your donation can help people do more than just survive – you can help them really live.

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