A Dublin father has spoken of his horror after going to bed one night and waking up in intensive care a month later.
Kiltipper man Alan Ferron was rushed to hospital after suffering a heart attack in bed.
The 36-year-old said the pain felt like someone was sitting on his chest.
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He said: “When I had [to hospital]I collapsed on the ground and went into cardiac arrest.
“After being resuscitated I had another cardiac arrest and then I was fitted with a stent.”
While in hospital, Alan contracted pneumonia and due to the condition of his heart, his family learned that he had a very low chance of survival.
Doctors thought he wouldn’t even spend the first night in intensive care.
Alan added: “I have hazy memories of waking up at times during this month but couldn’t breathe on my own so needed intubation and ventilation.”
But Alan managed to pull through just in time to take his fitness instructor exams a few weeks later, which he successfully passed.
The ordeal prompted Alan to make huge changes to his lifestyle.
He said: “I have to be careful – if I leave the house I usually have to rest first because fatigue can hit you hard.
“I exercise regularly, whether in the gym, on foot or by bike and I take medication every day and monitor the amount of liquid I drink. For the past few months I have had an ICD implanted in my chest, which gives me great peace of mind.
“Once the ICD is installed and my 20 month old daughter will be in nursery in a few months, I hope to return to work as a fitness instructor.”
Alan says a private Facebook group called “Irish Heart Foundation’s Heart Support Network” helped him recover.
He said: “It helped me realize that it wasn’t all pessimistic, and it helped me get back on my feet – a great help at a time when I needed it.
“I would definitely encourage people to engage with supports, talk about them and not push things back.”
Dr. Angie Brown, Medical Director of Irish Heart Foundationsaid: “It’s important to note that heart failure is preventable. Reducing your risk factors for heart disease will help prevent heart failure, such as not smoking, controlling high blood pressure, eating foods healthy, maintain a healthy weight, stay physically active and drink moderately.
“Heart failure usually responds very well to a combination of medication and lifestyle changes and some people may need operations, pacemakers or similar devices.
“With modern treatment, people with heart failure can lead long, quality lives.”
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