FORTY-seven minutes was the time taken from when Peter Eicens rang the ambulance, to when the blockages in his heart were cleared at the Cairns Hospital cardiac catheter laboratory on Sunday, August 20.
Mr Eicens, a recently retired former police officer, had just finished a training bicycle ride on Lake Morris Road, as preparation for this Sunday’s Alive Pharmacy Ride for Isabel, and the QSuper Cardiac Challenge in September.
“I was following a car that threw out a funny-smelling puff of smoke and it felt strange in my chest. I decided to pull up on Collins Avenue and call my wife. Then I thought ‘Mmmm, this still feels funny, I don’t want to waste their time but I’ll call the ambulance’,” Mr Eicens said.
Lucky for him he did, as he was in the midst of a heart attack, which paramedics were able to determine, and make contact with the on-call cardiac team who came in to clear two blockages in his heart vessels.
His wife arrived at the scene as paramedics were treating him and she recalls she was in shock, but he was just concerned for his bike.
Foundation Fundraising & Marketing Manager Glenys Duncombe said Mr Eicens was to be commended for following his intuition.
“We’ve all heard stories of people who didn’t want to waste the health professionals time, they didn’t think they were really having a heart attack. It’s fortunate for Peter and his family that he listened to his gut instinct,” Ms Duncombe said.
“We know situations like this happen all the time but it’s so amazing to hear from a person who was just about to do the ride, and hopefully will next year, about the incredible support he received from the finely-tuned team of paramedics and hospital clinicians. This, together with the millions of dollars worth of equipment the QSuper Cardiac Challenge has provided in the past 17 years, is saving lives every single day,” she said.
The partnership with QSuper, part of Australian Retirement Trust, enables 100 percent of funds raised in the QSuper Cardiac Challenge to support the purchase of state-of-the-art medical equipment in the region.
Australian Retirement Trust Chief Executive Officer Bernard Reilly said, “Australian Retirement Trust is passionate about supporting our members and the community, including in rural and remote areas where we have a strong heritage.”
“It’s incredibly rewarding for us to see the impact the funds raised for the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation have on increasing access to vital health services in these communities,” Mr Reilly said. “The QSuper Cardiac Challenge is a great example of the community coming together to improve the outcomes of those in the region. This year is also special for Australian Retirement Trust, as we have a team participating for the first time. We look forward to cheering them, and all of the other participants on,” he said.
Donations for the QSuper Cardiac Challenge, September 16-18, are open at
Australian Retirement Trust, through the QSuper Cardiac Challenge, supports the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation’s passion for providing quality healthcare to regions that would otherwise need to travel hundreds of kilometres to receive life-saving care.