Wynand Odendaal

In the year 2011, I had the mother of all heart attacks. My main artery collapsed, and it left my heart without oxygen for four hours. After saving my life, the doctor could only send me home to recover, because any further surgery would have hindered my recovery. My left heart muscle was seriously damaged. For months I was bed ridden and fighting the worst depression I ever came across, however, things began to improve. I started walking and miraculously, I began to feel life return.

The old lifestyle was gone and a new one began. Activities were restricted to walking, until my knees gave in and then the swimming started. There are always ways to support our bodies, if we put our minds to it! At this stage I had recovered 50% of my left heart muscle, all thanks to the walking and swimming program.

Every morning life started with a handful of medication. The most important of which were the blood thinners, a product called Waverin. Nobody told me how serve the medication’s side effects would be on my body. It was like pure poison, causing different side effects for different people. This made me realize that being a heart was most certainly not for sissies.Once humans are aware of how fragile our bodies truly are, it gives us a new perspective on life and life after death. You realize that nothing you accumulate in this life can be taken with us, to heaven or hell.

During this time of my life, I was single. I had only a few assets left to my name, which I got rid of before starting an indefinite tour of South Africa and America. On the 2nd of January 2013, I left Cape Town with only myself as company and all my clothes in a suitcase. I knew this was the last adventurous chapter of my life, for it would end sooner or later. My aim was to spend as much precious time as possible with precious people, doing the things I loved.

In 2015, this adventure came to a close while making a trip up the coast to Durban. I had suffered with acute heart failure while lodging in Port Elizabeth, and was urgently transported back to Cape Town. I received the news that my heat was tired and enlarged because of there being water on my lungs. This meant I was forbidden to fly, so to prevent aneurisms. A final MRI scan in November 2016 gave me only a few months to live.

One day while listening to the radio, I heard Dr. Gopal speak about the new advanced technology that he was using to help his patients that had heart conditions like mine. I made contact immediately and left my file for him to peruse. Within two weeks I was allowed to be examined and approved for urgent medical assistance.

After being denied any support from my medical aid, I had appealed. After a few months, they eventually approved the hospital and doctor expenses. They did not approve the CHF (Congestive Heart Failure Therapy System), which was R180 000.

A friend had phoned somebody who knew somebody that could help me. Within hours, everything was arranged and my life saving operation was scheduled. As a heart patient that was in need, I can testify that being donated a CHF has made a tremendous impact on my life. This was all thanks to Revived Pulse Foundation.

Now, it is time to shout into the heaven so that everyone can hear: “There is hope!”

The journey of a patient in need, has many obstacles and faces. Every day is a final opportunity to love, prepare and work with purpose. My passive lifestyle suddenly had a new meaning, a new life to enjoy.

I could sleep again after three years. I had a pulse for the first time in seven years. Normal blood flow. From zero energy to being totally ready for anything.

My faith in humanity was restored by this simple act of generosity.

My journey of hope has begun:

  • Normal social and sport activities
  • I can preach again
  • New beginnings and the fulfilment of old dreams.
  • A normal day at the office after 3 years of absence.
  • Actively involved in the lives of family and friends
  • My wife even has a new bucket list…

Thank you to the people and teams in South Africa, that are dedicated to changing lives and giving people a reason to celebrate life again.