10 Life Lessons from a Survivor of Cardiac Arrest

TOP 10 LESSONS FROM MY ABORTED SUDDEN DEATH EXPERIENCE

In August, Jeffrey Feig, a 50-year-old financial executive in Manhattan and father of three young sons, became one of the more than 350,000 Americans who each year suffer a sudden cardiac arrest. His heart went into an erratic and ineffective rhythm and he stopped breathing.
But unlike 90 percent of people similarly afflicted, Mr. Feig not only lived to tell the tale but survived his near-death experience without any damage to his heart muscle or his brain, an outcome rarely seen following an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

Thus begins a New York Times article that tells Jeff’s story.

Here are Jeff’s Life Lessons — as posted on his public facebook page.

Worthwhile life lessons indeed.

1. See your doctors regularly, you idiot. Three years between visits is not appropriate. While you’re at it, get off your duff and exercise. 10k steps per day, one hour of moving your body, pushing your heart rate to the max, whatever turns you on, just exercise. It makes a difference in length of life and quality of life.
2. Take a statin and a baby aspirin every day. I’m not interested in how low you think your cholesterol is or how you will get it under control by eating like a vegan for a week. Just take the damn meds. The research is clear. People on statins have less cardiac events. No medicine in history as been as effective in preventing death.
3. Ski. Ski. Ski. It’s a great sport and a great way to spend time. Don’t die before you’ve skied enough times.
4. Laugh and have fun often. The glass isn’t half full. Its 90% full.
5. Family is important and I will come to that later, but have a lot of friends and treasure them. Without them #4 is much harder. Don’t be broiges (yiddish word, look it up), it’s not worth it.
6. Do things. Do lot’s of things. You’ve got old age to relax and sleep. Be active, read a lot, take chances, wake up early, stay up late, don’t miss an opportunity, make things happen even when it’s hard and a pain in the ass. Challenge yourself, it’s worth it. You can sleep when you’re dead.
7. Make sure all the places you go, belong to, attend — gyms, synagogues, churches, community centers, schools etc have AEDs. Get one for your home. They are cheaper than death. They work. They save lives. Learn how to use it. Learn CPR. You WILL have the opportunity to save a life, don’t blow it.
8. Have friends who are doctors. They are great people. They help. They are underpaid and overworked. They are in this because they are committed and damned smart. Be a good friend to them, they will always be a good friend to you.
9. Spend those precious moments with your spouse and kids and create more. Enjoy them, you can never have enough time. Laugh with your kids, wipe their tears and just don’t yell at them. It never helps and usually hurts. Create memories, have fun, engender happiness.
10. Celebrate. Celebrate. Celebrate. Celebrate every oportunity at every possible time. Find a reason to celebrate and make it happen. Surround yourself with the people you love and celebrate. You can’t do it enough. Isn’t that what life’s all about?
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