Robert's heart attack


Robert Walker Smith suffered a heart attack in December 2005. 

Despite having a family history of heart disease, he didn't think that a cold feeling in his chest and stiff shoulders could mean what it did.

Dramatic change

A project manager by day. Robert was in bed, trying to sleep, with a cold feeling in his chest and stiff shoulders. He thought it was muscle pain from some heavy lifting. Robert’s father died of a heart attack in 1971.

Back then, Robert says, there wouldn't have been much treatment available. But since his own treatment he's got more energy, and his friends have even said his eyes are brighter.

"The research the BHF has done has helped change the prognosis dramatically for me, compared with how the situation would have been thirty years ago when my father died."

Robert now swims 1,000m three times a week, watches his saturated fat and alcohol intake, and tries to stay as relaxed as possible.

What causes heart attacks?

Most heart attacks are caused by coronary heart disease. Coronary heart disease is when your coronary arteries become narrowed by a gradual build-up of fatty material within their walls. If material breaks off, causing a clot that blocks your coronary artery, it can cut off supply of oxygen-rich blood to your heart muscle - this is a heart attack.

Others heart attack survivors

A heart attack can be a terrifying experience. Here are the stories of others who have survived a heart attack:

Hina's heart attack
Julie's young heart attack
Leo's triple bypass

Support life saving heart research

BHF Professor Steve Watson and his team are paving the way in trying to understand the small cells in the bloodstream called platelets that play a critical role in healthy healing processes by clumping together and forming a blood clot. Understanding the pathways that control platelet activity will help us develop improved clot-busting and clot-preventing medicines.

Your donations help fund research like Professor Watson's. This research could eventually lead to medical breakthroughs that improve the lives of people like Robert. Donate today to help us fight for every heartbeat.