As a cycle coach I have recently witnessed a miracle of modern medicine and the human body’s tenacity to recover. I started coaching ‘MC’ late 2010, while he struggled to fit in the amount of desired training due to the ubiquitous obstacles known as ‘life-commitments’, MCs heart was always into ‘hard’ training and he maintained an above average level of fitness.
So it came as a shock on the Wednesday before Christmas, four hours post a coach-led group ride, that MC had a full blown cardiac arrest at work. I confess my ignorance – I assumed (blame Television’s Baywatch) that surviving an arrest wasn’t such an improbability, at least not as little as the 5% chance if it happens in the community (outside a hospital).
MCs miracle story continues: not only did he survive, but exactly 5 Wednesdays later, MC was back cycling on my group rides, in tow an implanted defibrillator/pacemaker. Since been giving the all clear to exercise, we have taken a cautious approach to rebuilding his fitness (assured that should another arrest occur, the defib’ will kick in, albeit a painful assurance).
Furthermore what makes MCs road to recovery remarkable is the continuity in progress he has maintained, to the point that he has now made it around the ‘Gorges’ twice! Those not familiar – the ‘Gorges’ is a ride starting and finishing in Christchurch and takes in (via Rangiora, Oxford and the Old West Coast Road) the Ashley and Waimakariri gorges. Around 150ks are covered meaning this isn’t a ride for the faint hearted.
All this from a man on his death bed less than 4 months ago – a testament to not only modern medicine but the human body!