Heart disease is something very close and personal to me. As a doctor, it is always hard to see family members go through so much pain with health.
Heart disease affected my family is a very personal way. I have become even more passionate in trying to educate people the importance of healthy living and to reduce risk factors for heart disease.
My mother suffered from Angina (chest pain due to heart disease) and was due to have cardiac bypass surgery. Unfortunatley, if you were to read a text book of all complications, my mother suffered them all.
She spend just under a year in hospital due to : 1) Cardiac arrest 7 hours after the cardiac bypass operation; 2) Suffered a stroke; 3) Went into kidney failure; 4) Sepsis from infection on her chest wall wound site as a complication of the chest compressions from the cardiac arrest.
My mother had to undergo a number of complicated operations due to her chest wall becoming septic and plastic surgical teams had to resect part of her chest wall and apply skin grafts over it.
So from a fully independant woman to know someone who is dependant on care for daily activites, it has been a long journey for her. However, she has pulled through and with each day gets stronger and more independant.
From seeing her on ventilators in Intensive care to now slowly but surely becoming more independant again, she has shown the strength many patients need.
We need more awareness and education at all ages to reduce the risk of heart disease as well all get older to minimise the suffering that people are exposed to due to poor health and nutrition in younger days.