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"Joshua and I were colleagues for a short while when he was stationed in Singapore. I knew him as being a friendly, helpful and approachable. Today he is moved to Brisbane, Australia. What I didnt know was his story - which he has kindly contributed in the hope of sharing with other people. I remeber Joshua telling me how much he missed Singapore food, perhaps he might return one day and we can all enjoy a great meal together once more. We wish Joshua a healthy long-life and well-being and endeavour!" ~ Ian Goh

Joshua's Story

Born with a small hole in the heart and a growth in the pulmonary vein, open heart surgery was done when I was six years old in 1971.

43 years later I was back at the same hospital and yes my 1971 records were located after my next round of surgery was completed, closing the two parts (carbon paper, foolscap pages, typewriter and handwritten records) together.

Aged 49 and 6 weeks before my 50th birthday I drove myself to hospital, during a heart attack (yeah I got told off for not calling an ambulance, but thanked for having enough sense to get myself there)

The day started off with my kids and I visiting our local Saturday markets for breakfast. Whilst there I felt a little uncomfortable but put it down to heartburn which I have had for a number of years.

Upon leaving we dropped into a local supermarket for a specific item for dinner where I started to feel flushed and hot. I should have taken that as a warning sign but hey being male…. After getting home It was getting worse so took some Ibuprofen to relieve the pain and the antacid sure wasn’t working. Sometime after that I decided a trip to the hospital was needed.

Arriving at the hospital emergency section booked in, was whisked in straight away over the room of soon to be patients. I spent a period of time in the ICU being evaluated including being given GTN (Glyceryl Trinitrate) to sit under the tongue to assist in reducing angina pain and I think paracetamol.

From there they moved me to the theater so they could perform a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) also known as coronary angioplasty to evaluate whether I was a candidate for a stent or something more invasive.

They prepared both the groin and wrist for the procedure, using the wrist for the procedure by taping it down so it couldn’t be moved before inserting the catheter.

Having had a dye injected into the blood stream they could use to assist in locating the blockage so the balloon can be used. It was interesting experience to be lying on table and watching the screens for the blood flow and listening/feeling the catheter during the procedure plus listening to the discussion going on around me.

During the angioplasty a small balloon inside a narrowed blood vessel is inflated. The balloon helps to widen the blood vessel and improve blood flow. After widening the vessel, a stent was inserted into the blockage. Stents are tiny metal mesh tubes that support your artery walls to keep your vessels wide open. I had one complete blockage and two others at about 50% (which are being treated by medicines and life improvements).

Since being discharged my flow has improved from 40% back to the average (normal) of 50 to 55% but do have a little thickening of the heart wall and will be on Aspirin for life and the other medications probably for 12 months.

Lifestyle changes includes concentrate of what you eat (heart foundation focused) and lots of Salmon etc, portion size and exercise walking for 30minutes per day 5 days per week (150 mins as a guide)


Ticagrelor - twice a day







Habits are exactly what they seem and need to be reviewed, changed and updated as needed. The changing and updating is very much the hardest part as we are more often than not, creatures of habit.

The couch and the modern lifestyle is considered one of the largest killers in this space, and funny enough the couch appears on the posters around the area where the cardiac rehab program was run along with the usual culprits. Today I Am ...

Today, I am still an IT nerd (as I have been for 30 years (this year is an IT anniversary year)) currently working in a government department, have a volunteer role as a Group Leader at a local Scout Group (7 years so far), enjoy camping and 4WD trips especially to the outback and watching and participating as my kids grow.

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