HK$58,443Donated So Far
CRITICAL UPDATE 15th December:
Hey everyone, thank you for all of your donations so far, it is amazing and so heartwarming.
FOR THE MOMENT, PLEASE DO NOT USE MY PAYPAL, AS PAYPAL HAS A TECHNICAL/ BUREACRATIC ISSUE AND HAVE FROZEN MY ACCOUNT UNTIL IT IS RESOLVED.
THEREFORE PLEASE ALSO DO NOT DONATE THROUGH THIS WONDERFUL GO GET FUNDING SITE EITHER AS IT ALL OBVIOUSLY GETS PROCESSED THROUGH PAYPAL.
Although we are overwhelmed by all the love, we still haven't reached our goal to break even and feel confident about the immediate future, so if anyone wants to donate direct whatsapp me +60103989241 and I can give you the bank details. Thank you for all of your donations so far, it is amazing and so heartwarming.
Total medical/ hospital/ surgery costs initially:
- RM50,000+ / HKD100,000
Ongoing cost of checkups, medications, potential complications:
- unknown, but perhaps RM1500/ HKD750 per month.
All help gratefully received xxx
Hi everyone, Adam here, and if I can get straight to the main point - not having insurance - I need your kind help financing my heart operation and subsequent ongoing recovery.
Whatever you can spare - whether it is $1, or $5, or $1000 - every little (and big) bit all helps.
Those who know me will be very surprised to see this fundraising effort - trust me, I am just as surprised to be writing it
A bit about me:
- I am only 49 years old,
- I have been a personal trainer since 1993,
- I eat incredibly healthily,
- I sleep early and well, usually 930pm till 5-6am,
- I don't drink alcohol, (I used to, but quit Jan 1, 2017),
- I don't smoke, and never have,
- I don't eat sugar or any processed foods,
- I usually only eat between 7am and 3pm,
- I only eat the food that I personally cook at home,
- I swim, run, meditate, and lift weights most days of the week.
So – plenty healthy, active, and quite young in this context, right?
I haven't always been this healthy - I made plenty of questionable choices as a younger man like I think everyone does, but I have been a personal trainer for nearly 30 years so I wasn’t all bad, and for the last decade I have been slowly but surely working towards the healthiest existence that I can possibly create.
What happened to me?
So, I hear you ask, how is it that this apparently fit and healthy guy is making a Go Get Funding page asking for help with a heart operation?
Well, sometimes you just can't beat the gene pool.
On my Dad’s side, basically everyone had heart attacks – quite young - on both his mother’s and father’s side of the tree (apparently it was quite the trend!), and if I look further up the family tree it seems to be quite a feature. So we have been rockin’ the old heart problems for many generations it appears.
So, what happened - why do I need help?
Early November this year (2020, what an awesome year) I started getting chest pain when I exercised, but I thought it was just my fault for triggering my childhood asthma by not warming up properly - but it kept happening whenever I started to raise my heart rate.
Sunday afternoon, 6th December, 330pm, I was at home with my wife having just finished a healthy lunch of home cooked salmon and vegetables, and she was heading off to teach swimming, and I was heading to the couch to relax (and maybe play Minecraft - shhhh!).
But no sooner had I laid my head and lifted my iPad when trouble reared its ugly head. I started getting that pain again - except this time I hadn't been doing anything - no workout, no run, no hike, no swim, nada!
It kept getting worse, then the sweating started – like dripping on the floor kinda sweating - and huge nausea, and a feeling like everything was doomed, plus a tingling going down both arms.
"Uh-oh", I thought, "I think I better call my wife and get to the hospital - this feels like a heart attack."
Of course I knew full well it couldn't be a heart attack - I am a personal trainer, right? So healthy, so young?
I googled "symptoms of heart attack", whilst the feeling of dread mounted and the sweat dripped onto the floor.
I looked at the list of symptoms:
- pain or tightening in the chest (check)
- cold sweats (check)
- numbness or tingling in one or both arms (check)
- shortness of breath (check)
- nausea (check)
- impending sense of doom (check).
(Note - if you experience any of these please get to a hospital, it could very well be a deadly situation)
By now the pain was getting unbearable - a demon had wrapped its hand around my heart and was squeezing hard, and I had never felt so starkly mortal and vulnerable.
I called my wife, tears welling up out of nowhere and finding it hard to speak from sheer emotion, and asked her to please turn the car around, if it isn't too much trouble please don't teach swimming today, in fact please come back and take me to hospital.
What actually came out was "come home", then I said "my heart hurts", then I managed to say "need hospital".
All the while trying not to cry like a toddler - no idea why I was holding back the tears, but I was scared to death and in huge amounts of denial, not to mention panic and confusion.
***** Everyone please please please don't wait like I did. If you feel anything unusual in the chest, go get it checked, it is much better to know about it earlier.*****
So anyway, my wonderful wife came straight back and took me in. By this time my symptoms had totally vanished, but I felt tired and looked like something rotten the cat had dragged in.
We went in to the Emergency Room, got admitted straight away, and began all the tests, and I am so thankful for modern science is all I can say. I don’t think it is a stretch to say that modern medicine is basically indistinguishable from witchcraft at this stage.
They determined that I needed an Angiogram, which is where they will stick a fishing line looking device in through your wrist, up into your heart, have a really good look around, and then if needed they can put in a stent there and then to open things up again and let things flow more normally.
Like I said, modern science is phenomenal.
A wonderful cardiologist, Dr Goh, was in charge of my case, and he performed the operation. It was amazing. I got to watch it all on the monitor - I could see my heart beating in real time, and I could see the bit of fishing line (that's honestly how it looked to me) that he was wiggling around in there, trying to find the problem.
After a few short minutes he found the main culprit: I had a %90 blockage of the Left Anterior Descending Artery - commonly called the Widow Maker.
Unfortunately, there was a complication, something quite out of the ordinary, and in a quite dangerous place - and this is where Dr Goh showed himself to be a true hero, full of humility: after briefly explaining the nature of the problem, he looked me in the eye and said "honestly, I am not the best person for this type of procedure. If I make any mistakes with this particular area, it could be catastrophic. I am going to end the operation now and refer you to someone in Kuala Lumpur."
I am still so impressed by him for doing that. Thanks Dr Goh, you are a very good man. Dr Goh has many areas of expertise, but this wasn’t one of them and he was a big enough man to admit it, and I will be forever grateful to him for that.
So, he recommended that I go to Kuala Lumpur – a 4-hour drive away from our Johor Bahru home – and get the procedure done by a friend of his called Datuk Dr Rosli – so we did.
Now – both Dr Goh and Dr Rosli are in ultra-high demand, so it should tell you a bit about the severity of my case that they both automatically bumped me to the top of the queue and saw me as soon as they could. It isn’t called the Widow Maker for nothing. Or “Orphan Maker” as one of my daughters said.
OK, so my amazing wife drove us to KL, and we checked in to CVS Specialty Hospital on Wednesday night, 9th December, and Datuk Dr Rosli was fiddling around like a brilliant mad scientist inside my heart by 8am the next morning.
The procedure took about an hour, I really didn’t feel anything, and I got to watch it all happen on the enormous screen next to me. Fascinating. When it was done, I had a nice new stent in place to open up that very narrow area, and that will stay there for the rest of my life.
We checked out the next day, Friday 11th December, and I was able to test it out today, Saturday 12th on the treadmill and in the pool. Only 6 days since the heart attack and I feel brilliant – and so thankful to all the staff that helped to make it happen.
Moving forwards I will need regular visits to see Dr Goh to make sure we stay on track, and I also have some medication that I need to take, potentially for the rest of my life, and as you can imagine, these costs add up.
Like I said at the beginning, any size donation will help, but if you can't afford to buy yourself a cup of coffee right now then please do not donate - perhaps instead please do me a small favour and share this with your friends?
Now, 2020 has been an absolute pig of a year, and like nearly everyone, personal trainers have been hit hard by COVID-19, and I have 2 wonderful little girls that I need to take care of - but this unexpected medical bill has wiped out all of our meagre savings. We will get back on our feet eventually, but a little bit of help right now would be amazing.
Thanks for taking the time to read my story, I hope you and your loved ones have a truly wonderful life, and please, get your heart checked - if it can happen to a super fit and health conscious personal trainer, it can happen to you.
Get checked please!
Feel free to check me out at “Adam’s Heart Health” on Facebook and YouTube!
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