Icons Who Had Heart Attacks
Heart ailment is heredity which means “it runs in the family” so if someone in the family, whether in the past or at present, you have to live a healthy lifestyle such as avoiding smoking, heavy drinking, and eating poor dietary options. The money, the influence, and the “glory” you have achieved will go to nothing. No matter the status in the society you may have, no matter what age you belong, rich or poor, nobody is immune to diseases such as heart attacks and other heart problems. But as long as you are living a healthy lifestyle, you chances of heart ailments are very slim.
To show that no one is immune to heart ailments or heart attacks, here are some icons who had their share of life with “parties and wine” but had heart attack. Some did not make it but some lived and realized that they need to change their lifestyle:
Larry King, CNN host, was only 9 years old when his father had a heart attack at 43 and died. Larry had his first heart attack when he was 53 years old and had a quintuple-bypass heart operation due to his worsening heart condition. Larry admitted that he “did everything wrong” by smoking for about 60 cigarettes every day, eating poor diet, having no workouts or exercises, and living with so much stress due to his work. It was after his heart attack that he stopped smoking and started walking on a regular basis as his exercise, having a healthier diet such as reducing his intakes of sodium, meat, and other foods with high cholesterol. His change of lifestyle has somehow added more years into his life. But 10 years after his first heart attack, he had to go through an angioplasty method in one of his blood vessels. He also had a stenting procedure in early 2010 where a tube was inserted into his clogged vein to allow flow of blood in the body. These experiences had made him learn to listen to his body and opt for a healthier way of life. He is presently 77 years old.
John Candy, an actor from Canada made his way to US as a screen star. He always had these roles of being “good hearted and lovable uncle”. He used his big body size to portray comedian acts but he never talked about his health and weight. He has always been a 300-pound with his 6 feet and 2 inches structure, and therefore, was obese. Worst, this “Uncle Buck” was also a smoker. It was in 1990 when he started to stop smoking and tried to lose weight but it was too late. Like his father and grandfather, he had a heart attack while filming in Mexico in 1994 and died. His fate was a result of poor lifestyle and heredity.
Richard Bruce Cheney popularly known as Dick Cheney served in the Nixon administration as White House staffer and as a chief of staff during the Ford administration. Then, he served 8 years as vice-president during the administration of George W. Bush. Dick Cheney was also elected to the House of Representatives in 1978 and served 5 terms. He had so much stress to deal with during the campaigns and other activities. He tried to “lessen” his stress by smoking cigarettes and it was in 1978 when he had his first of 5 heart attacks. He tried to change his lifestyle but did not stick to it. He started to smoke again, did not have adequate exercises and started to gain weight. He was 43 years old when he had his second heart attack, he was 47 years old for his third heart attack, and it was few weeks after the 2000 elections when he had his fourth heart attack. His fifth came in early 2010. Cheney went through a heart transplant on March 24, 2012 and his cardiologist told him that he may not expect to live another 10 years even with a transplant. Before this heart transplant, he underwent multiple heart procedures including a coronary heart bypass grafting, stenting, angioplasty, and putting an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator.
Jerry Garcia or Jerome John Garcia in real life was a musician who toured and played music with his band named Grateful Dead. This American musician was known for being a lead guitarist, a singer and a songwriter. He struggled with obesity carrying 300 pounds around and smoking as much as 3 packs of cigarettes each day. He was also known to be a heroin addict. It was sin 1986 when he went through a 5-day diabetic coma, survived the coma and tried to change his lifestyle but did not stick to it. He continued to smoke and use heroin and remained as obese which made him a “regular” patient in rehabilitation centers. In 1995 and at 53 years old, he died of a heart attack at a rehabilitation center. His unhealthy lifestyle with heroin addiction, smoking, and being obese had contributed to his early death.
Opting for a healthy or unhealthy lifestyle will always be our personal choice in life. We are on journey where we can always choose the kind of tour we want to have. Whether we are obese and want to lose weight or had heart attack and want to live longer, any choice will affect our health and lives. Choosing what can work for us entails patience, determination and willingness to got through it. No matter what kind of journey we opt to have, we must always be ready for the risks and consequences it entails. In one of his poem, Robert Frost wrote:
“I will be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference”.