The Guy Leech Story

Warrick: Hi, my name is Warrick Bishop. I have the pleasure to catch up again with Guy Leech, who is an acclaimed athlete at the highest level, and also a lifesaver, which is what we're going to talk about today.

How did you get to where you are at the moment? And what were the steps along the way, Guy?

Guy: I suppose we all have those moments in life that change the direction we're going in. I know your story that you've told regarding many of your patients. So for me, once I retired from being an Ironman, I always loved the fitness aspect of being an Ironman and I always loved that feeling of fitness and what I did there. I always had an interest in that. I was always going down that line of being a trainer, training groups, being an expert in that area, which is what I did for the next 20 years or so.

It was nearly six years ago in one of the fitness classes that I took down around mainly in Sydney that one of the guys in the fitness class—and there were about 25 people that morning at the beach—he suffered a sudden cardiac arrest and...he was one of my best mates, this guy, and he had dropped at the end of the session.

My training from the surf club days jumped in and we made sure we rang 000, the ambulance was on the way, and I started resuscitating him. The ambulance took about 13-14 minutes to turn up. I kept resuscitating him and didn't get a result. And the short of it was that he had an electrical issue with his heart.

And so, you know...the thing on that day wasn't me pumping his chest, trying to get him back. It was the other 24 people there that were all mates with him as well, watching it. It was just–just a horrific situation.

For mate, Chucky, I can't get back and I tried my best. 

But the numbers are this. Today, when people listen to this podcast, there'll be close to 100 Aussies who drop dead from an electrical issue with their heart. 

There's one last important thing I'd like to say. There were a hundred people in my group, fit, predominantly males, 40-70 years of age. They were probably in the top 1% in health and wellness from a fitness and eating and lifestyle point of view. After Chucky passed away, I said to them all, you've got 12 weeks to go and get your heart checked. Get a referral to a Doctor; a cardiologist like yourself and get checked out because we don't want to be doing this again.

We want to know what's going on inside our bodies, which most of them didn't know. And so 100 fit, healthy Aussies from the age of 40-70 went and got checked up. 5 of them had to have stents put in straight away. 1 of them had two put in; he was the 40 year old who was the fittest in the group and was about to represent Australia two weeks later over in America, in a five-hour race, running, swimming, paddling, and cycling.

15 others had to go on medication. So, I think the big message here as well is that, sure, defibs are great, but as you talk about, and you're also passionate about, ket's work out what's going on inside our bodies, because if that's representative of what Australians are like, 5% need stents and 20% of those 100 people have to go on either at stent or go on medication, and it makes sense that we encourage people to get checked up and make sure we know what's going on inside our bodies.

Warrick: Thank you for your raising that, Guy. Of course, my passion is trying to prevent people having problems in the first place, and the defibs are a tow truck response, and I'm all about maintenance before we even get there. In a perfect world, we would have all those defibs in place, but never actually need to use them because we can stop heart attack if we can find it. And the men that you alluded to you; your paddling group, are exactly that. And anyone who's been affiliated with the Healthy Heart Network and listens to my podcasts, or looked at my education, would know that my passion is being proactive and preventing those events in the first place. Thanks for mentioning that.

Guy: I said that because I know that it's all well and good to get a defib, which is pretty much life insurance covering yourself, but why use it if you don't have to? Let's go back a step and say, "what do we do to give ourselves a better chance of being healthier, which is important, but even more important is let's know what's going on inside our bodies," because if you don't know, then you're playing Russian roulette.

You're doing a great job with what you do. You should be proud of all the work that you do. It's great.

Warrick: Thank you. I feel privileged to be sharing with you today. Thank you again so much for sharing with us today, Guy. For those listening, thank you so much for being engaged. I hope you got as much out of this as I did. It's a great reminder. Some of those stats are quite frightening.

Until next time, I wish you the very best. Take care, and bye for now.

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