In 2 days’ time Wednesday November 30 will be PRIDE’s first birthday. It will also be my late father’s birthday.
If it wasn’t for my dad, Brian Meigh, PRIDE wouldn’t exist; in more ways than one. I would like to explain.
14 days from now our family will be raising a glass and having a curry in memory of dad who passed away suddenly on Dec 12, 2014.
As a child, I looked up to my dad; he meant everything to me and it was from him that I grew up with a passion for being physically activity and healthy. Ironically, the knowledge and passion for health that I now have thanks to dad, wasn’t enough to save him from passing 15 years too soon.
The week before his heart stopped, he proudly proclaimed “I’m the fittest 67-year-old you’ll ever meet!”.
20 years of poor dietary choices and drinking excessively lead to high blood pressure (hypertension) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) which eventually got the better of him. After his autopsy the Drs told us that he had an enlarged heart (cardiomegaly) and he had all the hallmarks of hypertension – thickened arteries etc. It’s the stuff of Dr’s pamphlets in the Drs waiting room, you know – the ones we ignore thinking “that’ll never happen to me”.
Well, in Australia the same year it took my dad, CVD also took the lives of 45,053 other people too. One person every 12 minutes! 1 in 3 deaths almost entirely preventable.
It doesn’t just affect the individuals either, it’s the mourning families they leave behind.
Are you at risk?
Risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, overweight and obesity, physical inactivity, low fruit and vegetable intake, alcohol and smoking. Nine in 10 adult Australians have at least one risk factor for CVD and one in four (25%) have three or more risk factors.
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I have lots of memories of my dad, but the last one is looking at him in a coffin in Miami after his autopsy. The human body isn’t designed to be ‘put back together’ and seeing a loved one in that state is something I hope I never have to deal with again, and wish nobody has to go through. My poor sister and brother-in-law had to give him CPR with my mother at his side waiting for an ambulance. They will never forget that.
PRIDE exists to inspire people to live a healthier life. As a team, we hope to empower people with the knowledge and skills to get more fun and enjoyment from the life they live through physical activity and healthier lifestyle choices.
Dad cried when he heard he was having a grandson; it was the happiest I’ve ever known him. He won’t see Aston grow up and Aston won’t ever know his grandfather. He died 24 hrs after meeting his second grandson Eli in Miami and missed the arrival of his granddaughter Rosie. What a waste of life. It makes me angry that he thought he knew best and refused to listen. His passing will not be in vain!
If you or someone you know has one or more risks factors for cardiovascular disease, don’t wait until the 2017 New Year to make a resolution to change. Do it NOW! If you want or need our help, come and see us.
Physiotherapy isn’t just about fixing aches and pain; it’s *much* bigger than that.
As a Physiotherapist, Trainer and Coach I hope to make a significant difference in preventing people from becoming another statistic. Life is too short as it is to have it cut short by the effects of poor choices.
Move well, move often, eat well, don’t smoke, drink in moderation, have fun and learn to make the most of the most valuable, precious gift you have – your body.