Cricket coach Raj Nath, 46, from Harrow in north-west London, lived an active life, playing sports and teaching cricket in schools, but admitted he didn’t know he had high blood pressure, which likely caused his unrecognised heart attack
A cricket coach has revealed he didn’t realise he had suffered a heart attack after experiencing chest pains for a number of days.
Sportsman Raj Nath, who lives in Harrow, north-west London, lived an active lifestyle and taught cricket in local schools. He admitted to not having the healthiest of diets but thought he was in good shape and generally healthy.
When the father-of-two began suffering with chest pains at the age of 46 in April 2018, he “brushed it off”, believing he was simply “overexerting” himself. But when he started feeling a sharp pain on the left side a few days later, he was rushed to hospital where doctors told him he’d suffered a cardiac arrest.
Mr Nath was completely unaware that he had high blood pressure – a common heart attack cause – and is now urging others to check their health with a GP. Speaking about the first time he felt pain, he told the MailOnline: “I thought it was just a bit of pain, I would go home and take a paracetamol.”
It wasn’t until he went back to his office after a cricket coaching on Thursday, a few days after the initial pains, he “slumped” in his chair and a concerned collague asked if he was okay. Mr Nath told them he’d been suffering from pains in his chest that had spread to the left side.
On arrival at hospital, medics checked his blood pressure and he underwent an ECG to check the heart’s rhythm. It can provide a clear indication of whether someone is experiencing a heart attack. He was told that he had high blood pressure but that his ECG results were normal, suggesting he hadn’t had a cardiac arrest.
He said at the time he was clueless about his blood pressure and hadn’t had it checked. He added he hadn’t been for a check up in around 15 years. “I wouldn’t even go to the doctor for a common cold. We only go to the doctor when we need to go to the doctor. There is no engine light like in your car, that tells you to change this or that”, Mr Nath said.
Doctors kept him in hospital overnight and were bewildered when further tests didn’t show any issues. During the night, his heart stopped twice. He was eventually sent for an X-ray which looked at his arteries and can show issues with the heart and blood vessels. It was discovered that two of his arteries were blocked.
He explained: “I was on my own. I remember lying there in the hospital bed and I just felt all alone, and I just broke down. I didn’t know how this could be happening to me — I had led an active life. I thought I wasn’t going to be able to do the things I used to do. I had a fear that would not be able to coach.”
The six signs of a heart attack to look out for
- Feeling sick
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
Sarah Carter is a health and wellness expert residing in the UK. With a background in healthcare, she offers evidence-based advice on fitness, nutrition, and mental well-being, promoting healthier living for readers.