Former Geraldton mayor Shane Van Styn tells of health scare after NZ trip and emergency dash to Perth by RFDS

Anna CoxGeraldton Guardian
Shane Van Styn on his way to Sire Charles Gairdner Hospital via the Royal Flying Doctor Service
Camera IconShane Van Styn on his way to Sire Charles Gairdner Hospital via the Royal Flying Doctor Service Credit: supplied

Former Greater Geraldton mayor Shane Van Styn has shared his frightening health scare story after a relaxing international getaway, warning others to always take symptoms seriously.

Mr Van Styn was in New Zealand with fiancee Jazlyn Leonard when he “felt something was off”.

“I got back to Australia and had shortness of breath, increased blood pressure and heart rate. I had trouble lifting a suitcase up the stairs,” he said.

Mr Van Styn said the symptoms came on quickly and when he attended the emergency room on Monday last week, he was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis which had caused a blood clot to travel to his lungs.

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A heart flutter was also found in the process, which would have been exacerbated by the DVT, Mr Van Styn said.

A night in the emergency room saw Mr Van Styn booked in for a transfer to Sir Charles Gairdner via the Royal Flying Doctor Service the next day.

“It was wonderful, from the time I was booked in they had me in the air within three hours, and I was met by the ambulance crews at Jandakot on time as planned. It was super impressive from the moment I walked into ED,” he said.

After four days in Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Mr Van Styn was discharged and came back to Geraldton where the clots will be monitored over the next six months.

“I’m only allowed to have 1.5 litres of liquid a day, and that includes yoghurt and ice-cream,” he said.

“No caffeine, no alcohol — I’ve lost about 9kg in one week.”

The medical episode was a pertinent reminder to the former amateur boxer.

“It just goes to show that it you don’t feel well. Don’t take chances,” he said.

Mr Van Styn, who is contemplating a tilt at State politics after his shock defeat at the local government election in October, says he is on the mend and on the way to a full recovery.

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