Strong People Are Harder To Kill – David Eastham
It’s 105 degrees on an August afternoon, like every Sunday, Dave went to run the Pico Stairs but, this would be a day he’d never forget. As he reaches the top of the 153-step climb, it feels like a knife stabs him in his upper back. David believes it is just a cramp and begins stretching using the wrought iron gate. Little does he know, this is going to be the greatest battle he’s ever faced.
According to Harvard Health, the average male heart attack victim in men is 65. When we think of heart attacks we usually coincide the disease with an older population, poor lifestyle choices, and lack of exercise. David Eastham was a 43-year-old fitness professional. He has worked over 20 years in the Santa Clarita Valley training youth, teenagers, adults, and even pro athletes. He himself was a former high level athlete. How could this happen to somebody in good shape and so young?
David has lived a relatively healthy and clean lifestyle with minor weight fluctuations. “I didn’t always eat great, but I have always been in pretty good shape so this came as a complete shock.” It was such a shock that he didn’t even realize it was a heart attack or the severity of the situation until he was part way out of the canyon. “I just thought I had heat exhaustion. It wasn’t until I collapsed and had pain shoot down my left arm after gathering myself and picking up my water bottle.” Even at this point Dave says that his stubbornness wouldn’t allow him to accept the fact he was having a heart attack. As he walked,
stumbled, and crawled to his car, the harsh reality set in that if he stopped it would be the last day he saw his son. “My son is my world and I didn’t want to miss him growing up.”
Dave made it back to his car and made the 911 call. “I had a heart attack known as the widow maker. It’s when your LAD becomes 100% blocked” (this is the main supply of blood to the heart delivering 66%) “The first responders and medical staff are still scratching their heads wondering how I made it. Everyone I talked to said it was a miracle I lived.” David said he must still have work to do here. He is using the heart attack as a positive. “I just want to help as many people as possible and continue living a great life. I am blessed with an amazing son, the best family, great friends, clients, and a job I love.” During the interview Dave stressed how important it was to get check ups and never ignore warning signs, even if you are healthy looking on the outside, you never know what’s going on internally. “Life is short, live it as long and best you can” David also wanted to thank everyone for the well wishes, prayers, and medical staff who contributed to saving his life. “Strong people are harder to kill, see you at the gym”
photos by Joie de Vivre photographie
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