Life after a heart attack: John's story

We talk to John Langdon about how he changed his lifestyle after suffering a heart attack at the age of 55.

Heart attack survivor John Langdon shares how he’s changed his life since his health scare.
John Langdon didn’t have any clue that a heart attack was about to hit. As a fit 55-year-old who took part in long bike rides and triathlons, Langdon hadn’t given a second thought to his heart health until it gave him a very strong warning.

“That morning I went for a bike ride for about an hour, and I came home and was just about to have something to eat. Then I went numb down my right side and felt a bit queasy and dizzy, and I told my wife that I thought I was having a heart attack.” 

Langdon went to the hospital, where tests revealed that one artery had been 90 per cent blocked and the other side was 100 per cent obstructed. Over the course of the next couple of weeks, Langdon had three stents put in to aid his recovery.

Now, 10 months on, with help from a hospital rehabilitation scheme and Bupa’s health coaching program, Langdon has made a full recovery. The education and lifestyle changes he’s taken from these regular sessions have helped  him to get on with his life and look to a strong-hearted future. 

Bupa health coach
Langdon’s Bupa coach, Christine Wong, in particular, has worked with him over the course of the year to help him get his fitness back, improve his nutrition, lose weight and set goals for the future. His heart attack, he’s been told, was caused in part by a slowly growing number on the scales, and genetics, and it was time to take control where possible. 

“I used to eat too much, so now I don’t go back for seconds and I make dessert an occasional thing. I’m giving more thought to my food and having fewer unhealthy snacks.”

Most importantly, working with a Bupa coach has helped Langdon to maintain these positive changes. 

“I lost the weight fairly quickly, just through eating less, and I’ve kept that weight off all year. I’m lowering my cholesterol, too.”

The past months haven’t been without their challenges, however. Langdon says that managing his weight without getting too worried about it can be hard at times. But he sees it as worthwhile for the health benefits. 

“I’m monitoring my weight regularly, because I’d hate to put those seven kilos back on again,” he says, adding that watching the scales carefully will alert him quickly if he’s headed in the wrong direction.

Life after a heart attack is, for Langdon, filled with gratitude and a fresh approach to his health. 

“I wish my warning hadn’t been as severe as a heart attack, but I’m just lucky to have survived it.”

Langdon has his eyes firmly on his next goal: an overseas trip with his wife, followed by the search for a new part-time job. These lifestyle changes will help him to maintain his health and enjoy life after surviving the heart attack he never saw coming.

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