在心脏病发作后幸存下来, Dan Williams is now winning medals at the Maryland Senior Olympics for track and field. (图片由Dan Williams提供)
在心脏病发作后幸存下来, Dan Williams is now winning medals at the Maryland Senior Olympics for track and field. (图片由Dan Williams提供)

莱斯顿的丹·威廉姆斯, 维吉尼亚州, 当他感到胸口有一种砰砰的感觉时,压力很大吗.

He thought it was probably pneumonia and knew he should go to the hospital to get checked out.

但这也是另一件需要担心的事情, 在一堆职业和财务问题之上. Williams worked in telecommunications sales and had been through a tumultuous stretch at work because he'd struggled to hit the sales quotas needed to keep his job.

在2008年大衰退期间失去了一切之后, he knew exactly how hard it would be to lose his livelihood again – and it was on his mind constantly. He neglected his physical and emotional health while dealing with the all-consuming stress from his job.

Williams, who was 63 at the time, went to a veteran's hospital in West 维吉尼亚州 to get checked out.

When he got there, a doctor examined him and said, "Well, you do have pneumonia. 但你昨晚也犯了心脏病."

Williams was immediately transferred to a veteran's hospital in Washington, D.C., to undergo a routine procedure to insert a stent into a coronary artery to improve blood flow in his heart.

事实证明,这远非例行公事. The procedure triggered multiple heart attacks, requiring open-heart surgery.

当威廉姆斯的家人到达医院时, the head surgeon told them he didn't expect Williams to survive the operation.

手术持续了9个小时. A major issue was internal bleeding; it was difficult to stop because of blood thinners Williams had been taking. 医生后来告诉威廉姆斯,他的心脏在手术台上停了两次.

当他开始恢复时,威廉姆斯看到了他的肺部x光片. The pneumonia caused so much inflammation that the X-ray image "looked like London fog,威廉姆斯说.

威廉姆斯想到了他的四个女儿和他的伴侣凯伦·卡顿. 他不想让他们经历任何其他事情.

"I knew I needed to start taking care of myself and being accountable for my own health,他说. “我必须开始走路,否则我就要死了."


他慢吞吞地走到医院的走廊上. He saw an artificial Christmas tree at the end of the hallway and said, "That's my goal."

在接下来的五个星期, 他一直在坚持, 一步一步来, 最后一路爬到树上再爬回来. 他离开医院时发誓要坚持下去.

只是,他没有. He slipped back into poor eating habits, high stress and a sedentary lifestyle.

几年后,他和卡通共进晚餐. 那天他移动起来很吃力,在餐桌上感到浮肿. 他听到一个声音说:“你不会再有第二次机会了."


威廉姆斯开始锻炼,起初一次走几分钟. 然后他决定再试一次. 他早年喜欢这项运动. He was a cross-country runner in high school and finished a few marathons in his 20s. He'd shown potential but let it go when he got sucked in to a fast-paced career in the tech industry.

He found a local master's track club and started competing in track events so he could push himself and find a community.

"I loved connecting with people who were using running to live a full and happy life,他说.

Dan Williams got back into running and started competing in track events at a local club. (图片由Dan Williams提供)
Dan Williams got back into running and started competing in track events at a local club. (图片由Dan Williams提供)

Williams soon entered the 2016 Maryland Senior Olympics – and won a bronze medal in the 100-meter dash. He loved that running required him to keep showing up, through the highs and lows, to perform well. 他知道他不想再离开这项运动了.

“在艰苦的训练日子里, 我想起我在医院的时候有多糟糕, 行走困难,他说.

He joined a team and hired a coach to hold himself accountable and train with intention, 因为他继续参加著名的高级赛事. He also created a community devoted to helping others find their own path to a healthy and active life.

“我在生活中获得了额外的机会, 我不想浪费它们,威廉姆斯说。, 他现在74岁了. "I want to help other people see that it is possible to go from near death to gold medals."

His Senior Olympics teammate Willie Spruill said it's easy to feel inspired by Williams.

斯普里尔说:“他训练和比赛时都有一种具有感染力的决心。. “他的故事感动了很多人."

Dan Williams competes in the Senior Olympics and wants to show people it is possible to go from near-death to gold medals. (图片由Brendan martin提供)
Senior Olympian Dan Williams wants to show people "it is possible to go from near death to gold medals.(图片由Brendan martin提供)

发自内心的故事 chronicles the inspiring journeys of heart disease and stroke survivors, caregivers and advocates.


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