Heart scare for chamber executive

Zoe KeenanGeraldton Guardian

It was a normal work day for Glen Whistler-Carr, when he started to experience severe chest pains that he later discovered was a heart attack.

The Mid West Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive was walking along Marine Terrace earlier last month when he thought he might be experiencing heart burn or indigestion.

“I drove home and had a lay down for about an hour and then I couldn’t get comfortable and couldn’t stop this pain in my chest,” he said.

Still not knowing what it was, Mr Whistler-Carr headed to the chamber’s law lunch but soon thought it’d be best to go to hospital.

“The emergency department went into full swing,” he said.

“They knew what it was straight away.

“I had a full (ST-segment element myocardial infarction) heart attack caused by a blood clot which may have been caused by an irregular heartbeat.

“The service that I got at the regional hospital was second-to- none. They were efficient, fast and they immediately had me being transferred to Charlie Gairdner Hospital.”

Mr Whistler-Carr stayed in Perth for a week for two operations with a local anaesthetic, to apply four stents.

He will continue going back to see a cardiologist in the weeks ahead.

Mr Whistler-Carr said if people had chest pains to head straight to the hospital.

“I certainly didn’t know what a heart attack was meant to look like,” he said.

“The symptoms for each person are different but if you feel constricted in your chest, my advice is that you go straight to the hospital. “Time is of the essence in a quick recovery and in preserving damage caused to the heart muscles.”

Mr Whistler-Carr said he had a pre-existing medical condition which was a contributor but he would be looking at his lifestyle to give himself the best recovery.

“Once you’ve had one you are susceptible to further heart attacks, but life carries on and people sometimes need to evaluate and this gives you the opportunity to do that,” he said.

“Lifestyle, stress levels and maybe a bad work-life balance can contribute.

“It’s a matter of staying active, watching how much meat is consumed and adopting a more Mediterranean diet.

“We’re lucky in the Mid West we have fabulous olives, great olive oils, fresh produce and fruits and vegetables in abundance.”

Thrilled to be back in Geraldton serving the business community, happy and healthy, Mr Whistler-Carr thanked everyone for the support he received.

“Thank you to all that have sent lovely get well messages,” he said.

“Considering I’ve only been here a year, the amount of support I’ve had I’m very grateful for and humbled.”

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