HALIFAX, N.S. – It took getting “kicked in the chest by a horse” for the realization to hit home, but Millbrook Chief Bob Gloade says it is a wakeup call he will definitely heed.
“I had no pulse, so that’s when my heart started to escalate and that’s when I started to pass out, started to fade and things started to change for the worse,” Gloade said, from his hospital bed at the QEII Hospital in Halifax.
“They had to administer the defibrillator three times on me to bring me back. It was just like I got kicked in the chest by a horse three times in a row.”
Gloade, who will turn 50 at the end of the month, suffered a heart attack Sunday night immediately following a hockey game he participated in at the Brookfield sportsplex.
While sitting in the dressing room about 10 minutes after coming off the ice, Gloade said he began to feel nauseous, “clammy and sweaty” and then he collapsed.
“I thought I had heartburn at first when I was sitting in the dressing room, then all of a sudden, everything just changed right quick,” he said. “I kind of got dizzy and weak and fell to the floor”
Other players helped him to the bench before clearing a space on the floor where he could rest without toppling over.
He credits the fast assessment from one of the players who is a trained first responder and the paramedics who quickly arrived on the scene with helping to save his life.
On the way to hospital in Truro, Gloade said he was told by a paramedic that he had suffered a heart attack and was given nitro spray and Aspirin.
After arriving at the hospital he was administered with a blood clot buster.
About an hour and a half later, however, his condition had still not improved. At that point that his pulse began to fade and that’s when the defibrillator was brought into play. A short time later, he was transported to Halifax by ambulance.
But by then, Gloade said, he had already determined that some life changes were in order.
“Because when I was in that bed, when I was starting to fade there, the first thing that came to mind was my family and my kids, said Gloade, of his wife Kelly and two sons aged 15 and 11.
“I do remember looking up at the doctor and telling him, ‘don’t let me go, ‘cause I knew if I didn’t fight back and he didn’t work on me, I was a goner right there.”
Gloade underwent subsequent treatment to free blockage to his heart but was expected to be released from the hospital Thursday afternoon.
He is not permitted to drive for a month and will have to undergo some follow-up medical monitoring.
But he said he was feeling “much better” and was looking forward to going home. Beyond making some lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, improving his diet and giving up energy drinks and soda pop, he expects to fully recover in the near future.
Gloade said he also realizes he will have to slow down his daily pace.
Millbrook Band elections are set for Feb. 26 and he is in the midst of running for his fourth term as chief.
If he is successful in getting re-elected, Gloade said, he understands he may have to delegate more tasks than he has been accustomed to.
“There’s not much I can do about it now. And after this wakeup call I now realize what’s more important,” he said.
“This is only just a hurdle I have to get over and make some little changes. But I feel like it is just going to make me a little better and more ready for the next 50 years. When you get a second chance you want to take advantage of it.”
Don’t ignore the warning signs
HALIFAX, N.S. – After ending up in the hospital following a severe heart attack, Millbrook Chief Bob Gloade said he now understands he ignored the warning signs for far too long.
“I now realize all the early symptoms I was having, I never really paid attention to them,” he said. “I never really knew what the early symptoms were until after it happened to me.”
Those signs included constant fatigue, feelings of nausea, shortness of breath, dizziness and heartburn.
He also realizes the importance of communicating with his doctor any suspicious health issues he may have.
“All those early symptoms, I never told the doctor. I just thought I needed more rest, or I needed to get more sleep or stop drinking so much coffee and pop. And obviously stop smoking too,” he said.
“And even when I was playing (hockey) I always felt my heart racing… and just ignored all the warnings.”