It’s been almost one year since the death of Canadian actor Alan Thicke from a ruptured aorta while playing hockey with his youngest son.
Canadian hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, a good friend of Thicke’s, is teaming up with the Heart and Stroke Foundation to remind everyone to be extra vigilant of their heart health, especially in the winter.
“Janet and I were shocked and deeply saddened to hear of Alan’s death,” said Gretzky shortly after learning of Thicke’s passing. “He was a wonderful man and an amazing father, husband, and friend. He loved all sports and in particular the game of hockey. He will be missed by all of us.”
“Wayne Gretzky is urging Canadians and Albertans not to play around with their heart health. If they have the signs and symptoms of a heart attack, call 911 right away. We thank Wayne for amplifying that message,” explained Donna Hastings, C.E.O. of Heart and Stroke Alberta.
She said especially as we age and are more sedentary in our lifestyle, it can be dangerous to just up and hit the hockey rink if we’re not in good shape.
On top of that, she said the cold makes the heart work harder.
In a statement, Gretzky said, “Everyone should know the emergency signs and call 911 if they’re experiencing cardiac distress.”
Signs of a Heart Attack:
– Chest Discomfort – Pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain, burning or heaviness
– Upper Body Discomfort – Neck, jaw, shoulders, arms back
– Shortness of breath
Signs may vary from person to person. They may not always be sudden or severe. Recognize the signs and act right away. For more information on emergency signs and what to do go to www.heartandstroke.ca/heart/emergency-signs.