The ProHeart Plate
Even small changes in your eating habits can add up to big benefits for your heart. A healthy diet can help you lose weight, manage your cholesterol and blood pressure - and give you energy to get through the day.
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But the pain was getting worse. I was two freeway exits from one of the best hospitals in Orange County, California, so I immediately drove there in my own car and pulled into the ambulance bay. They came out and brought me in. They hooked me up to a heart monitor and they said "You are having a heart attack". I went into full cardiac arrest and was dead for 97 seconds. This was at age 20 years, 2 months, 24 days, and an odd number of hours. I woke up in the CCU (cardiac care unit). Turns out that I had a blood clot from my "regular work" that involved a lot of plane travel (on average 14 flights a week), with a lot of sitting on planes. I obeyed all the rules, drink water, carbonated water, and juice (no caffeine and no alcohol), and I would get up as often as possible during the flights. But I had a deep vein thrombosis that broke off and caused the clot.
Luckily, I was at the right hospital - a hospital that had a great heart center and was on the cutting edge of technology. I was given TPA (Tissue plasminogen activator) and Streptokinase, two "clot buster" drugs that today are "first line treatment for heart attacks and strokes. I always ate very well, at 6'2", I was 176 pounds. I ate low fat, low salt, and only complex carbs. I played wheelchair tennis and wheelchair basketball quite often so I was very fit, so a heart attack was nowhere on my 'radar' given my health, my diet, and my age. But, given that before my heart attack at age 20, I already had partial paralysis due to Guillain-Barre Syndrome, my heart attack was just enough to cause me to "retire". I have kept my diet the best I can. It made me value the last years I had with my mother . (She died at age 56 in 1996, after a 9 year battle with Stage IV breast cancer). It made me value friendships with people who are as close as family to me."
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