Our WestJet team will be participating in the 2017 Ride for Heart on June 4th, fundraising for life-saving research aimed at preventing heart disease and stroke. Many of us have a friend, family member, or a coworker, who has been affected by cardiovascular disease. It’s why we are working together to bring awareness to these conditions and how they affect so many people and their families in Canada.
For us here at WestJet in Toronto, this really hit home in 2015, when our own WestJetter, Brian, has a sudden cardiac event. Brian shared his story with us:
My heart attack happened April 12, 2015 and resulted in a week long stay in the intensive care unit of our local hospital. I was then sent to Hamilton General for Angioplasty and was told by the surgeon that when I wake up I could have bypass surgery or a few stents. I woke up in a lot of pain and was told that I had been very lucky. I had a 90% blockage that required a stent to keep open and 2 other arteries that required ballooning. After more hospital time for surgery recovery I was sent home with 9 bottles of medication that effectively changed my life. The pills severely limited my movements and confined me to my bed for about a month. Blood thinners, beta blockers to reduce heart rate, blood pressure control, cholesterol reducers all combined to help my heart heal but left me just shuffling around the house for several months. As the doctor appointments went by and I was allowed off some of the drugs I started to feel better and was then put onto a strictly monitored rehab course at the hospital and a supervised gym to start exercising. Six months off work that included a failed attempt to return early, only to end up taking an ambulance ride to get checked out after collapsing at work, and I was back on modified duties. More exercise, doctor appointments and reduction of medication and I am now 9 months later finally back at work full time with no restrictions. It has been a long road back and WestJet was there to support me.
We hope Brian’s story helps bring awareness to heart disease and stroke and how it can suddenly affect anyone’s life. We hope that the money we raise will help fund the research we need to find an incredible breakthrough in this area of medicine. Please help support our team, and this very important research, by donating today.