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Geordie's Story: I didn’t believe it could happen to me

Geordie's Story: I didn’t believe it could happen to me

Geordie's Story: I didn't believe it could happen to me

It was 4:30am in the morning, and Alistair “Geordie” Craib woke up with a what he describes as a horrendous pain in his chest.

Geordie at the Featherston Tavern Wellington

Being the sort of person who doesn’t like to worry too much, he tried to ignore it, initially passing it off as indigestion due to the late evening meal he’d had that night.

But the pain got worse. Geordie became more concerned and switched on his phone to Google heart attack symptoms. Everything he read matched what he was experiencing.

“Although I realised that it was pretty likely I was having a heart attack, I still didn’t want to believe it was happening – I was only 53 years old,” says Geordie. “But I knew I needed to get to the hospital and so I went to order an Uber.”

Luckily, Geordie’s partner realised the seriousness of the situation and had already called 111 for an ambulance.

Five minutes later, the Wellington Free Ambulance crew arrived, and were met outside by Geordie’s partner who took them up to their apartment on the 10th floor of the building. While she was doing this, Geordie decided the best thing to do would be to get dressed, so he put on his jeans, a nice, clean T-shirt and some shoes.

When the paramedics arrived, it made Geordie laugh when they asked him, “Do you sleep in your clothes? Why did you get dressed when you were having a heart attack?”

“It was their very relaxed manner which put me at ease,” says Geordie. “They were so professional and calm, and didn’t let me become stressed.”

Even while he was being taken to the hospital, he still had a sense of disbelief about what was happening. “It wasn’t until I was lying there in the hospital, wired up to machines and the cardiologist came and said to me “You’ve had a heart attack” that it hit me. I shed a tear then.”

Geordie has worked in hospitality for a long time. He works long hours and Covid has made it a stressful couple of years. While the cardiologist told him there was no way of knowing what caused his heart attack, he wonders if all of this contributed to it. That night he made a decision to look after himself. He began to eat better, and to exercise more.

“The heart attack was a wake up call for me. I feel very fortunate that I got the care I got and I’m thankfully not a statistic,” says Geordie.

Geordie works at The Featherston Tavern, and since his experience with Wellington Free Ambulance he has started a monthly fundraiser called Karma Can. Each month, he puts a range of cans of craft beer into a bucket and customers can make him an offer for a can at any price. All money goes to Wellington Free Ambulance. “It’s us doing our little bit to say thanks for your help,” says Geordie.

To date, The Featherston Tavern has raised $1200 for Wellington Free Ambulance, and they are now part of our Support Crew, which is a group of community-minded businesses who have committed to helping keep the ‘free’ in Wellington Free Ambulance. To find out more about our Support Crew, click here:

https://www.wfa.org.nz/get-involved/business-and-supporters/

 

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