Brian Walters is happy to be in a position to warn others about the warning signs having lived through two heart attacks and undergone by-pass surgery.
Brian (63), of Hillarys, volunteered earlier this year to share his story to help publicise the Heart Foundation’s warning signs of heart attack campaign in WA.
He was photographed with wife Lyn and spoke before an array of television reporters and cameras. Brian later joked that he felt like a celebrity when people saw the story and picture in the local paper, The West Australian, the following day.
Underneath the smiles, Mr Walters helped deliver an important message with his cardiologist Dr Michelle Ammerer.
Brian said most people did not know the common signs and symptoms of a heart attack such as jaw, neck and shoulder pain.
“I had unusual signs, I got pains in the throat and down the left arm but no chest pain as such,” he said.
Heart Foundation research has shown that while most people know the warning signs of chest and arm pain, nearly nine out of 10 don’t know other equally serious signs including jaw, next and shoulder pain. Other symptoms can include nausea, shortness of breath, dizziness or a cold sweat.
Dr Ammerer, consultant cardiologist and director of coronary care at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, said people needed the right information to make the right decisions.
“If you get the symptoms, you need a doctor to work out what you’re having and it needs to be urgent,” she said.
“The only place to get the right treatment is a hospital emergency department.”
Related links: Heart Foundation website – heart conditions