When Heart Disease Runs in the Family

robert fowlerImagine this scenario: One minute, you’re healthy. You’re having a blast, running a race with your family and all is good. The next, you are unconscious. For 24 minutes, paramedics are pumping your chest and performing CPR. Your family is distraught and terrified. You shouldn’t make it… yet, you do. You should have brain damage… yet, you don’t. You are one of the lucky ones. You are a survivor.

The Story of Robert Fowler

As Robert Fowler understands, when heart disease runs in the family, you need to keep tabs on your health. With that in mind, Robert has always attended 9Health Fair. We always encourage our participants to share their results with their doctor, and Robert too is good about doing that.

Robert actually has a history working in the medical profession as a pharmacist and currently as a coroner (he’s been the Otero County Coroner for 30+years!). He’ll be the first to tell you that the blood chemistry screening we offer (and he knows from experience), “is actually more complete than doctors will sometimes run in their office or sometimes they run in the hospital.”

rfowlerIn 2013, Robert was running in the Bolder Boulder when he suffered a massive heart attack. “We knew my numbers,” says Robert. “Numbers are very valuable. Family history, you can’t change… I had a long family history of cardiac disease.” Robert says he’s been a distance runner for 49 years. He’s always kept track of his numbers and he was worried about his cholesterol. He said his numbers were fine, but then the heart attack happened. While knowing the numbers didn’t prevent him from having a heart attack, he credits them for helping him survive. “Knowing those numbers every year gave me an indication of where I was. Genetics, that’s a different factor and genetics finally got me.”

It’s been a long recovery, but it’s also inspired him to take every opportunity he gets to speak out about the importance of good health and taking the time to attend 9Health Fair every year. We want to thank Robert for being one of our many community advocates and for owning his health. We hope Robert’s story inspires you to take charge of your health as well and attend a 9Health Fair this fall.