June 2019

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Editor’s Letter

Time for living
Last month, while driving to work, I had a heart attack.
I’ve always thought a heart attack would feel like being kicked in the chest, so I didn’t realise what this strange lump-in-the-throat feeling and mounting sense of anxiety was at all. In fact, I managed to park my car, buy a bottle of water, drink half of it, drive five more kilometres, park the car and get to the office before I realised this wasn’t going away. I’m 55, swim regularly, eat a healthy diet and my only real vice was the odd cigarette, so that’s another reason why I wasn’t prepared. I’d thought I’d be like my granny, who smoked well into her 70s, and I conveniently managed to forget that my three other grandparents had all died of heart attacks. Anyway, since that Friday I’ve seen the inside of a couple of ambulances, a helicopter and three wards in Las Palmas’s excellent Dr. Negrín Hospital; I’ve eaten a lot of hospital food and taken more pills than I’ve ever seen in my life before. I’ve watched a surgeon place a stent in my aorta live on screen and


I’ve been inundated with messages of support from family and friends. A brush with death is humbling; it makes you feel smaller and weaker, and it alerts you to the fact that we all have a clock that never stops ticking. But it also makes you feel how important all the connections in your life are, as well as the community that you live in. I can’t start to to express my gratitude to everyone at the Canarian Health Service, from the dashing helicopter pilot and the skilful surgeon to the cheerful paramedics and the drily funny night nurse at Las Palmas. I also can’t begin to thank everyone who offered support, best wishes and concern throughout this time.

A couple of weeks after the attack, I found myself looking out at the high tide on one of those gloriously calm and peaceful days when Lanzarote seems to hold its breath in awe of its own beauty. Then I got up and I walked down to that beach.
There’s a lot of living left to do, and I can’t think of a better place to start

Enjoy the mag.

The Editor

Gazette Life July 2019

July 2019 Edition
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