Graphic: John Gibson
It was 2 AM and John was feeling unwell. He had been sent home from work earlier that day but couldn’t work out what was wrong.
“I said to my wife that I just wasn’t feeling well and I wasn’t sure what was happening. I just felt off. I had the feeling that someone was just constantly pressing in between my shoulder blades in the middle of my back.”
John tried to stand up from his chair to go to the kitchen but he fell forward onto his knees and to the ground.
After a night in hospital, John headed home but was still feeling unwell. Kate drove him back to the emergency department. “The nurse came out and asked me if I was ok. I just looked at her and I said “I think I’m going to…” and I blacked out.”
The doctors ran some tests and found that John had a 99% blockage on the left-hand side of his heart and a 95% blockage on the right. For John, every moment was critical. The Royal Flying Doctor Service was alerted and John was airlifted from Dubbo to Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital where he was operated on and two stents were put in his heart.
“I am so grateful the Royal Flying Doctor Service was able to get me to Sydney in time and get me the help I needed,” John said.
John still has to be mindful of his condition but now he helps others by teaching woodwork at the Dubbo Men’s shed and looks after dementia sufferers through Lourdes Hospital. “Although I still have health issues, I am glad I have a new lease on life,” he said.