Former Australian cricket coach Darren Lehmann has opened up about the terrifying heart problem that forced him into triple-bypass surgery in February last year.
Lehmann experienced chest pains on the morning of his 50th birthday while on the Gold Coast, requiring swift attention from the hotel doctor.
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The 51-year-old was transported to hospital, where he was soon informed he would need triple bypass surgery.
Interviewed by the Adelaide Advertiser as part of the 'Quit Your Way, In May' campaign to quit smoking, Lehmann said the ordeal had been a massive wake-up call.
"I woke up in a bad way, with the cold sweats and a real heavy chest. I felt like someone was standing on my chest, and thought, this isn’t good," he said.
“So I thought I’d grab a cigarette, a dart, like I normally did in the morning.
“But I didn’t feel like putting the cigarette in my mouth, so I knew I was in trouble.
“I rang the hotel doctor, who in turn rang an ambulance, and the ambos arrived quickly.
“Within 20 minutes I had been given a drug called GTN, which is designed to widen the arteries to allow blood to flow better while also helping you to breathe more easily.
“I had three sprays five minutes apart and after that I felt great. I said ‘thanks very much lads, I’m good, seeya later’."
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Of course, the doctors were understandably not keen on Lehmann lighting up after showing so many alarming symptoms.
He was quickly whisked to Gold Coast private hospital for tests, where he he was subsequently booked for his triple-bypass surgery.
After waking up in a sweat at 4:30am, Lehmnann's surgery had been booked just four hours later - and was completed successfully two days later.
“It was a chaotic four-hour period from 4.30 to 8.30am,’’ Lehmann said.
“I’d gone from going to bed in good spirits to waking up feeling crook, to being checked by ambulance staff, to being raced to hospital and undergoing tests, while at the same time messaging my wife to say don’t come to the hotel, go to the hospital, because I need a triple-bypass.
“It was the big wake-up call that we all dread.’’
The former Australian coach said he had 'blocked arteries everywhere' and admitted taking care of his health hadn't always been top of mind.
It took Lehmann three months of recovery after surgery before he was able to regain his strength.
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