Tennis great Todd Woodbridge is urging others to have a health check after becoming the latest 50-something celebrity to suffer a heart attack.
Woodbridge says he was left shocked after experiencing symptoms as a fit 51-year-old last Thursday.
The 16-time grand slam doubles champion and one-time top-20 singles star regularly works out in his home gym in Melbourne and also keeps active while away commentating at tournaments.
“I tried to keep my routine having travelled to the US Open and London and I was just exercising and had chest pains and every symptom when you look up Google – full sweats and I felt awful,”’ Woodbridge said.
“I had a little heart episode that goes down as a mild heart attack which is a bit of a shock to me.
“And you’re personally still coming to terms with somebody like myself, who I consider to lead a pretty good, fit, healthy lifestyle – I keep active, I eat well, I do all the right things, I enjoy doing that.
“It’s been a wake-up call to me to make sure I look after myself. If it can happen to me it shows that it can happen to anybody.”
While Woodbridge survived his frightening ordeal, cricket legend Shane Warne died earlier this year at just 52 after having a heart attack in Thailand.
Labor senator Kimberley Kitching also died in March at the same age from a sudden heart attack.
Essendon AFL premiership player Dean Wallis underwent surgery this year after a major heart attack, also at 52, while former Australia cricket coach Darren Lehmann survived a heart attack on his 50th birthday in 2020.
Woodbridge’s two brothers both died in their 50s, leaving him extra cautious about his own health.
“I’ve hit that age now where I need to make sure that I have regular testing, get to the doctors,” Woodbridge said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to go and get all the tests and I’m OK. With good monitoring and a bit of mild medication moving forward, I’ll be fine.
“But what I did learn was how important hereditary genes are to your health and I am aware that both my mum and dad have had a few issues with needing some stents and my dad had very high cholesterol.
“If I take care of that I have the ability to be fine into the future. But if you don’t take care of that, you are putting yourself at risk.”