Valentine's Day is about matters of the heart, and it sure was for Jim Bradley this year.
A heart attack and surgery later, Jim is an avid devotee of Cairns Hospital's Cardiac Care Unit and eager to support Cardiac Challenge this year. In Sydney for work in February, he was walking up a hill and when he reached the top, realised he was sweating profusely and experiencing chest pains. “It felt like I had an elephant standing on my chest or a hot iron.”
A call to the ambulance resulted in a trip to the Royal North Shore Hospital where he spent 10 hours undergoing tests and receiving medication. Discharged at 10pm, the 54-year-old was told to see a cardiologist when he returned home.
The next morning his wife Amanda went shopping while he stayed in the hotel and started having chest pains again as well as vomiting. “I took some more aspirin and calmed down, took it easy and we flew out at 1pm the next day to come home,” Mr Bradley explains.
“There were some other people on the plane who we know, who were joking that we upgraded to business class to be closer to the defibrillator – joke, joke,” he said. While his wife collected the bags, he went to collect their car from the long term carpark and that's when the trouble started again. “We were going to go home, but I told her we'd better go to the hospital instead,” he said.
“When they said to me at the hospital 'you're alright, we've got you at the right time', my wife burst into tears. They had the paddles on me overnight and did an angiogram. My cardiologist Shane Preston said just one stent would be needed and I would be alright. He was right.”
“They told my wife that they had me now and I wasn't going anywhere.” It turns out Jim was having a heart attack when he got off the plane in Cairns – which was still occurring when he arrived at hospital. “We were supposed to ride Cardiac Challenge last year but it conflicted with a conference we were attending. Now it has a whole different meaning for me.”
He donated an ipad and iphone to the Cardiac Maniacs Cardiac Challenge team to raffle off and said he personally felt a moral obligation to give back to the people who he felt had saved his life.
To register to ride, or support a rider or team, visit cardiacchallenge.com.au
Cardiac Challenge is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland as part of a dynamic calendar of events throughout the state.
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