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Just another case of heart burn?

Truck driver Eddie Davies might have dismissed the pesky ‘heart burn’ that woke him up one night in September – if it wasn’t for the heart attack awareness campaign he’d seen on TV that evening. 

“If you or someone else experiences chest discomfort, nausea, sweating or shortness of breath, call 111 immediately,” the Heart Foundation ad urged him just hours earlier.

Eddie, (pictured wearing red in the photo above with his family) had been feeling tightness in his chest on and off for about five days, but it hadn’t crossed his mind he might be having a series of heart attacks.

“But then I woke up about 11pm that night with another case of ‘heart burn’ and I just said to my wife, ‘I think I’m having a heart attack – get the ambulance’.

“Without that Heart Foundation ad I think I’d be dead. It certainly triggered something in my brain to call for the ambulance,” he says.  

When the paramedics arrived, they ran an electrocardiography (ECG) test on Eddie’s heart and confirmed he was having a heart attack – and not the first.  

“The paramedic said I’d had five heart attacks over the previous week. The frightening thing is I had been putting the chest pain down to heart burn. The cardio surgeon told me that one or two more and I could have been dead.”

Eddie, aged 63 from Matamata, was rushed to Waikato Hospital and had two stents inserted to improve the blood to flow to his heart.

After nearly two months of recovery he’s feeling almost 100%, and has dramatically reduced his chances of having another heart attack with one massive lifestyle change.

“I was a smoker right up until 11pm on Monday 8th of September. No more though.”

With two children and five grandkids, Eddie is now quick to warn his loved ones and friends about the risk of heart disease, and the warning signs of a heart attack.  

“I’ve even talked two guys at work into going for a check-up. One of them was saying he’d been having heart burn for a while and I asked ‘Yeah but is it heart burn? Go and check it out, bud’.”

Naturally, Eddie is incredibly grateful to have seen our heart attack awareness campaign on TV that night.

“That was a life saver I reckon. I’d like to say a huge thanks to the Heart Foundation.”