In this time of uncertainty and stress I wanted to share something with a positive vibe.
The photo is a result of an ‘incident’ that happened in 2015. A little history is in order, I’m 48, raced bikes from the age of 14 over in the UK, left the bike alone when I got married (aged 26) and used running to keep fit.
Followed my son through junior soccer until I was aged 40 and got the cycling bug again (I don’t think it ever leaves you tbh) I jumped back into training with relish using my old school technique of thrashing myself into the ground at every opportunity.
I got really fit (un-structured but fit) and was loving it.
One Tuesday night in early July 15 I went out for my usual 1.5hr loop and didn’t come home.
All I can remember is cresting a short punchy hill on my loop and passing three guys (cyclists) taking a leak in a hedge .
I recall saying hi and shooting off on the downhill, that’s all I remember. The photo is a screenshot from Garmin connect of my HRM/speed trace, shows my heart suddenly stopping, from 150 ish to 0, the speed trace that carries on is the bike in the back of the police car. I woke up a week later being told by my Mother that I had a crash and suffered a cardiac arrest.
I have another photo that shows my route as an overhead satalite view, it shows my trace as steady on the left side of the road and then gradually veering over to the right over half a mile or so, so it looks I was having issues for a while before I crashed. Lucky as this is normally a busy road.
It turns out that one of the guys I had passed has wanted to chase me down, they did and a good job they did as one of them was a surgeon from the local general hospital.
They found me lying on my bike on the opposite side of the road, bloodied and with no pulse and not breathing.
I later found out what Cefin (the surgeon) did, he restarted my heart and performed CPR until the helicopter arrived. He did this for an hour I’m told, bloodied knees and exhausted. Guy saved my life that day and something I can never repay.
I was airlifted to hospital (my heart stopped twice more in the chopper and needed a de-fib) I was induced into a coma for a week and upon awaking endured every test the cardiologist could think of (I was lucky enough to be taken to a University teaching hospital).
I had ECG’s MRI’s etc with my cardio baffled, ‘you have a big healthy heart, no artery issues whatsoever but it just went into ventricular fibrillation ( I had to google that😀) and Cardiac Arrest, I don’t know why’
I was there for three weeks and he finally found a minuscule scar on my heart which he thinks had shorted out the signals, very common amongst long time endurance athletes he told me.
I have since read a fantastic article: https://www.drjohnm.org/the-mysterious-athletic-heart/
Very interesting read. I was not allowed to leave hospital without having an ICD installed which would intervene if the issue ever recurs, I’m told it would be very very unlikely to happen again, I was just very unlucky and very lucky at the same time.
I asked my Cardiologist if I could ride/race again, he basically told me to do what I want.
I have ridden/raced over 25 thousand miles since and part of that recovery was Trainerroad, not all the way through but on and off, it’s a staple part of my routine now and I continue to make progress, racing the UK equivalent of masters. FTP floats around 300 (I’m 78kgs) and I hope to bump that in this extended period of qurrantine.
It just shows you that when you are down and you think its impossible, things have a way of working out, I feel very privileged to have the ability to see my Son grow up and ride my bike, not a religious man but it seems things happen for a reason.
The only thing I’m down about is I didn’t race the TDF with Lance as I kept telling my Mum when I woke up in hospital😃 ( must have been the meds😉)