Heart attack while riding not enough to stop this rider

News & Media

September 26, 2017

Imagine not knowing you’re having a heart attack while you’re out for your morning ride.

That’s exactly what happened to Forest Lake resident Craig Lobban-Jones who will line up in the Brisbane to Gold Coast Cycle Challenge on October 15 in support of the Heart Foundation.

Eight months ago, Craig was riding to work with mates from the local Studio de Velo bike shop when the attack happened.

“It was about 28 degrees at 6am in the morning and I just felt lousy,” Craig said. “I was on the bikeway and I said to the guys keep going I’ll call my wife and tell her to come pick me up at Mt Ommaney.” Craig’s mates decided to call an ambulance instead.

Later that day, a second batch of tests at QEII Hospital revealed the tell-tale enzymes which are produced after a heart attack. Given his family history of heart problems, doctors wisely kept Craig in hospital for further monitoring over the weekend.

An angiogram a few days later revealed how dire the situation was. “Turns out despite being a fit cyclist, my heart was a hand grenade waiting to go off and I didn’t even know it,” Craig said.

Craig’s coronary arteries, the arteries which supply blood to the heart muscle, were 60% and 80% blocked without him having any worrying symptoms prior to his heart attack.

The keen cyclist had three stents inserted the same day, went home the next day and incredibly was back on his bike within three and a half weeks. “I was kind of limited by myself and a little bit of nervousness at first, of course, about what (exercise) I should do.”

Craig knocked off his first cycling goal earlier this year, completing the 50km option in the MS Brissie to the Bay ride in June. That’s when he set his sights on B2GC.

For Craig, riding in B2GC is a way to say thanks for the support he’s received from the Heart Foundation.

“The girls down at the Inala Cardiac Rehabilitation Centre were just absolutely fantastic and really encouraging. “A lot of the people who went there were there for them to try and get them to do exercise, whereas with me it was more about not doing too much!”

The Heart Foundation is the official beneficiary of the Brisbane to Gold Coast Cycle Challenge and Craig has set up an Everyday Hero page to raise funds during this year’s event.