Jack FM morning show host Drex suffered a heart attack just hours after discussing often-ignored men’s health issues on his radio programme.
Drex interviewed the CEO of the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation last Friday morning. We chatted about why men don’t see doctors, why men need to look after their health. To think that nine hours later I would suffer a heart attack is pretty wild,” he said.
That evening, while home alone, Drex began experiencing frightening symptoms.
“Almost like an intense burning across the top of my chest, and I was struggling to breathe and I was feeling nauseous,” he said. The 43-year-old first tried calling his husband, but there was no answer. Drex then phoned his close friend and fellow broadcaster Jody Vance.
When I picked up the phone, he didn’t even say hello. He said, ‘Something’s wrong,’ and he said it in a very panicked voice, and it scared me,” said Vance, who told Drex to hang up and call 911.
Drex was rushed by ambulance to the Royal Columbian Hospital, where doctors immediately determined he was having a heart attack. “I had a 100 per cent blockage on one artery and an 80 per cent block on another,” he said.
Drex had emergency surgery, where doctors inserted stents into his blocked arteries. Vance visited him the next day.
“I’m his Canadian sister, so I looked at the nurse and said tell me everything, and she did. And it was very, very, very significant,” said Vance. “He’s very lucky to be alive.”
Drex knows if he didn’t call for help when he did, he may not have survived the cardiac event. “The fact I almost died on my husband and we are just recently married scared me the most,” he said.
Drex has a history of heart disease in his family and had been feeling off for the past year, but dismissed his symptoms.
“I’m just another ignorant dude who’s like, I’m fine, I don’t need to see a doctor, I’m going to be fine! But I wasn’t,” Drex said.
Vance is a champion with the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation, the very organization Drex had interviewed the morning of his heart attack.
“The mission is to get men to pay attention to warning signs, to get screened and checked in,” she said. “When this happened with my good friend Drex, I did the math on some of the signals that I watched him explain away.”
Vance is thankful Drex is speaking out about his heart attack, and hopes it serves as a wake up call to other men who tend to ignore their health.
“I’m pretty proud of Drex for immediately using his platforms to address that, and actually call himself out,” Vance said.
“Clearly there has been something going in my body for a while now that I didn’t notice or recognize the signs of,” said Drex. “So I think really think going forward, I’m going to listen to my body and do what it tells me to do.” And he’s encouraging other men to do the same.
Drex is taking some time off to recover and plans to return to his Jack FM morning show on Jan. 3.
“Until then, I’m just be taking it easy, I’m going to be exercising more and eating a lot better,” he said. “I’m going to be taking advice from the women in my life, who seem to know a lot more about this than I do.”