Author Eric Douglas decided to focus on a personal adventure for his new book Heart Survivor: Recovery After Heart Surgery.
On January 25, 2016, Douglas failed a stress test and ultimately had quintuple bypass surgery. Looking back over the previous year, he recognized many times that he denied symptoms and ignored the possibility that his heart was in trouble. Following the surgery, Douglas made two promises: to be as public as he could about his own recovery process so others could learn from it; and to get back in shape so he could return to scuba diving.
Heart Survivor: Recovery After Heart Surgery is available on January 25, 2017, the one-year anniversary of Douglas’ stress test and beginning his personal journey to return to health.
Throughout his recovery, Douglas wrote a series of columns for the community news section of his local paper and six stories that appeared on ScubaDiving.com. Douglas writes a regular dive safety column for the international magazine. After six months of work, Douglas was cleared to dive and made a series of scuba dives in Summersville Lake, coming full circle back to where he was first certified.
“My story is unique, and at the same time it isn’t. I wanted to share my experiences because many people out there are denying symptoms and damaging their hearts, right up until they have a heart attack or worse,” Douglas said. “I attribute a lot of my successful recovery to having a specific goal before I left the hospital. I was going to return to diving and that kept me focused.”
Douglas included his own story, along with those of a few friends who had unique experiences with their own heart recoveries. To further illustrate the recovery process, Douglas surveyed more than 100 survivors to learn about their diagnoses, the changes they made in their lives and how their own recoveries progressed.
Heart Survivor: Recovery After Heart Surgery is for anyone diagnosed with heart disease whether they are treating their condition with diet and medications, received stents to open arteries or have had open-heart surgery.