LEAWOOD, Kan. — Training for the New York Marathon one day. Blacking out and heading to the hospital just days later. That’s what happened to one metro triathlete.
“I haven’t had any fried food,” Bob Love said. “I’ve been healthy for the last 10 years. I don’t smoke, and an occasional beer. I run and bike and swim, and I’m as healthy as can be.”
Most 63-year-olds don’t do triathlons. However, not all 63-year-olds are Bob Love.
“Along with the triathlons, I’ve done a couple half marathons, and this year, I was accepted to run the New York Marathon, so that’s what I was training for when all this happened,” Love said.
He blacked out while driving his car in August. Luckily, he survived.
He went to his doctor to check it out. Everything seemed fine. His blood work was OK, and a CAT Scan was clear. Then he was referred to Dr. Craig Lundgren with Healient Physician Group.
Lundgren ordered a stress test and found out Love has Prolonged QT Syndrome. It causes delays in a heart’s beating cycle. Some people develop it from medications they take or an electrolyte imbalance.
For Love, it turned out to be genetic.
“When you see Prolonged QT Interval, and you have new symptoms in this age group, you’ve got to be looking for some other precipitant that might be causing that, and coronary disease was one of those things you screen for. I was surprised that he had it,” Lundgren said.
“During that procedure they found at least three arteries blocked. One of them was at 90%, and 75, and 60, I believe,” Love said.
However, when he had heart surgery that number grew to 5%, and he had to have quintuple bypass surgery.
“My first thought was, ‘This is not fair,'” Love said. “You lead your life the way everyone describes you should be leading your life, eating all the proper nutrition, drinking the right fluids, and staying hydrated and exercising all the time.”
Love wants to encourage people to get a cardio scan done, even if you feel healthy. It shows your plaque buildup in your arteries. You can do it at any hospital, but Love got his at St. Joseph Medical Center where it only costs $40.
“People look at me, and they just couldn’t believe how healthy I was and had this issue,” Love said. “It was genetic, hereditary, so people need to be aware of their family history and pay attention to it.”
Love said he’s thankful to the doctors who kept looking into his symptoms and saved his life. He said now that his triathlon days are over, he’ll be working on perfecting his golf game.