Name: Dave Whelan
When was your SCA? Feb 10, 2012
Which SADS condition do you have? Brugada Syndrome
How are you treated? ICD and regular cardiology follow up
Can you tell us about your SCA?
My SCA occurred while working on a remote mine site in the Pilbara area of outback Western Australia. I was resuscitated and revived, after 23 minutes, by the dedicated work of the onsite Mine Emergency response crew. I was then transported 100km by road to the nearest medical facility where I regained consciousness about 5hrs later. Over the next hour I was further stabilized before being transported another 100km to an airport and flown 600km to the nearest major hospital. Upon arrival I was fully conscious, and apart from a few broken ribs, feeling remarkably well.
Did you have any warning signs of having a SADS condition before your SCA?
Yes. I have suffered with unexplained syncope and seizure type events suspected to be vasovagal origin all my life. Medical investigation in the 60’s and 70’s provided no answers so I just lived with it. Collapsing on the floor was not an uncommon occurrence for me.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a SCA survivor and/or living with your diagnosis?
It’s not easy when you open your eyes to be told you died. Psychologically survivors deal with a raft of issues that only other survivors can understand. Only through internet support groups have I found the solace and understanding of other survivors.
What is one positive thing that has come out of your SCA/diagnosis?
Living the life I never would have had including a first class, all expenses paid trip to the London Olympic Games.
What encouragement or advice would you give someone who has just survived a SCA or been diagnosed with your condition?
To reach out to the support community for both SADS conditions and Brugada Syndrome as soon as possible, you are not alone. Study up on your condition and become your own advocate.
What does your day-to-day life look like?
I am happy to say pretty much normal. I have a few risk factors I have to stay aware of and I have an ICD and regular monitoring, but, I feel physically the same as I have been all my life.
What are your favorite hobbies and activities?
Cruising in our Z28 Camaro with the top down and spending a few days away, boating and fishing, in our cabin cruiser, both with company of my lovely wife Sharon.
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