Heart Attack at 36

A couple of Sundays ago, I drove my friend Summer to deliver a meal to a housebound colleague of hers.

“Her husband has become very sick,” Summer said of her coworker as we drove to a home thirty minutes outside Minneapolis.

I didn’t ask any details about the health concern but just listened to Summer as she shared how their workplace sprung into action by having employees take turns taking meals out to the coworker in need. My mind painted the image of an older woman needing to care for her aging husband.

We entered the suburban development, found the townhouse, and knocked on the door. Summer’s colleague Jackie answered.

Jackie couldn’t have been any older than 35.

As she welcomed us inside, the cries of an infant came from the floor above. And after receiving Summer’s gift of food, Jackie took us upstairs, where another friend of hers watched over the infants — five month old twin girls — in the nursery.

After a few moments of three ladies (and, yeah, me) holding the babies with melted hearts, Jackie opened up about what brought us here. Her husband, a man of just 36 and in otherwise good shape, suffered a major heart attack in November. He almost died.

Today he’s on the long road to recovery (months to go before he can even think about work), and the couple is grateful they had the twins before this incident occurred — both because their window for children may have suddenly shut and because his girls serve as motivation for him to get better.

But seeing those two little tots in the nursery offering blends of smiles, cries, and curious looks at the strangers, I couldn’t believe they almost lost their daddy to a heart attack. At 36.

Life is so easy to take for granted. Yet there’s no certainty we’ll have it tomorrow.


This article was adapted from my weekly email to family and friends. If you’d like to be included on this list, shoot me an email at brandon@theperiphery.com and let me know. And while you’re at it, tell me a little about yourself:)