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When a surprise takes you out of the picture

Photo by Natanael Melchor on Unsplash

You never quite know when life will throw an unexpected curve ball in your path. One that takes you out of the picture. This happened to me recently when I went out for my usual Thursday evening run with friends. A bunch of us meet weekly at the Lower Hutt Shoe Clinic on High Street, Lower Hutt, for an hour long run each Thursday - rain or shine.

On 14 June 2018, as was usual for me, I ran the approximate 1.5km from home to the Shoe Clinic to join the run. However, little did I know, at the time, that that was as far as I was going to run that evening. As we waited for the usual cohort of runners to arrive for the run, I was talking to Peter, one of the runners, when suddenly, without any indication or warning, I simply passed out and crashed backwards, head-first onto the footpath.

My friends then spent the next 15 or so minutes caring for me, putting me into the recovery position and covering me with a thermal blanket, which one just happened to carry in his backpack for such emergencies (thank goodness for people who are prepared) while awaiting an ambulance.

Long story short, it turned out that I had suffered a heart attack. This was confirmed by two separate blood tests taken at the Hutt Hospital A&E Department. I considered myself to have a high level of fitness (I had been running between 40-45km per week) and I never had any symptoms, let alone idea, that I might have a problem with my heart.

For the next two weeks I was kept as an in-patient at the Hutt Hospital Coronary Care Unit. They were concerned that I did not have the normal warning signs for a heart condition and did not want me to be released until they knew more about what was going on. A heart CT-scan and angiogram procedure later, the worst was identified. I did in deed have significantly blocked heart arteries that would require by-pass surgery.

I underwent a by-pass operation on 26 June at Wellington Hospital and six days later, due to a quick recovery to a stable condition, I was discharged home to continue a six to eight week rehabilitation programme. I now face four to six weeks of reduced work capacity as I build my strength back up to normal levels.

So, why am I sharing this story with you?

Well first; so that you know why McKone Consultancy has been quiet for the past month and what we can and cannot do in the coming six to eight weeks.

Also to give you all a heads up to have a regular health check-up and in particular heart check up - which generally involves an ECG, blood tests and cholesterol checks. This is especially important if you're male and have a family history of heart disease.

From a business perspective, to ensure that you have some business continuity planning in place so that your business can continue to function in some form should you be temporarily taken out of the picture, as I have been, by an unexpected health issue.

Finally, McKone Consultancy is only able to provide limited advisory services for the next month, until given the all clear by the doctors. However, should you need more intensive support, we are able to provide you with a referral to one of our HR colleagues who are on hand to provide cover while I recover.

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