Show me:
Show me:
Taking care of your heart is the best trick in the book, magician warns men
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

Taking care of your heart is the best trick in the book, magician warns men

Media Release - 12 June 2020

One minute, professional magician and music performer, 51-year-old George Stas was playing the piano accordion on stage at the Brighton Theatre in North Brighton– his family and friends in the audience – and the next he was on the ground not breathing, with no pulse and in cardiac arrest. His heart had stopped.

An audience member quickly found a defibrillator and one of George’s close friends, a GP who happened to also be performing on stage with him along with George’s niece, re-started his heart on the second attempt, just as paramedics arrived.

Three days later, George woke up in hospital, remembering nothing of that moment, his wife and sister helping to piece together what happened. He was attached to monitors and was told he had a triple bypass to fix the three blockages in his arties with the right coronary artery 100% blocked.  

“It wasn’t until the cardiologist told me that I was incredibly lucky to be alive that I realised how serious it was,” Mr Stas said.

As Men’s Health Week approaches on Monday, the Heart Foundation is urging men and boys to make healthy lifestyle choices.

In South Australia cardiovascular disease accounts for about 1 in 4 male deaths, and on average 67 men are admitted to hospital every day as a result of cardiovascular disease.

“This Men’s Health Week (15th-21st June) it is important to remind men about the risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease and the ways to keep your heart healthy,” says Marie Ludlow, Heart Health Manager SA.

“It’s important to look at the risk factors that we can change, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, whether you smoke, being physically inactive, being overweight and not eating a healthy diet,” Ms Ludlow said.

This is particularly relevant in South Australia, where 75% of men are overweight or obese, and 80% of men are not getting enough exercise.

George had never smoked or drunk alcohol, but now he is more careful with what he eats, exercises more often and has regular check-ups to take care of his heart and overall health.

“Regardless of whether you are fit and healthy, the biggest piece of advice I could give my fellow males is to get regular check- ups, as you just don’t know if you have an underlying condition,” Mr. Stas said. 

The Heart Foundation recommends all Australians aged 45 years and over have a Heart Health Check at least every two years, and from 30 years for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

“During a Heart Health Check, your doctor or health practitioner will take blood tests for your blood cholesterol and blood glucose levels, check your blood pressure and body mass index and waist size. They will ask about your lifestyle including your diet, how active you are, and whether you smoke, as well as discussing your alcohol intake and your immediate family’s medical history,” Ms. Ludlow said 

For George, anxiety and depression were the hardest parts of his recovery.

“I found the mental side of my recovery very hard, but I am now out there telling my story to my clients using magic as a tool to hopefully create awareness and educate people to have heart checks,” Mr Stas said. 

This year Men’s Health Week runs from the 15th - 21st of June.

Media enquiries

Emily Goddard, Media Advisor 
M: 0432 417 518 Eemily.goddard@heartfoundation.org.au

Health Professional Tools

Health Professional Tools

Health Professional Tools

Guidelines, publications and support for the health professional community....

Together, we can change the future of heart disease

Together, we can change the future of heart disease

Together, we can change the future of heart disease

The power of your ongoing support can help save lives and keep more families together. Help us continue to fund promising heart research projects by donating today. ...

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Time to book a Heart Health Check?

Time to book a Heart Health Check?

Time to book a Heart Health Check?

If you're 45 and over, or 30 and over if you're of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent, you should book your Heart Health Check today...

Heart Week 2022

Heart Week 2022

Heart Week 2022

With one Australian having a heart attack or stroke every 4 minutes, you have the power to change this statistic. ...

Support for young adults: Online events

Support for young adults: Online events

Support for young adults: Online events

Check back in for the latest updates on Supporting Young Heart events...

Q&A with A/Prof Seana Gall

Q&A with A/Prof Seana Gall

Q&A with A/Prof Seana Gall

Improving the prevention and management of stroke...

Loaded veggie shepherds pie

Loaded veggie shepherds pie

Loaded veggie shepherds pie

1 hour
Serves Serves 4 (as a main meal)

Salad recipes

Salad recipes

Salad recipes

Search through our tasty salad recipes...

Feelings and emotions after a heart attack

Feelings and emotions after a heart attack

Feelings and emotions after a heart attack

This is a guide to how you might be feeling after a heart attack. ...

Romesco Sauce

Romesco Sauce

Romesco Sauce

Serves Makes 350g | (Serves 8 – about 2 tablespoons - 44g)

For professionals: Heart failure tools and resources

For professionals: Heart failure tools and resources

Resources for healthcare professionals on the management of patients with heart failure ...

Sodium Glucose Co-transporter 2 Inhibitors as a Novel Treatment for Atrial Fibrillation

Sodium Glucose Co-transporter 2 Inhibitors as a Novel Treatment for Atrial Fibrillation

Dr Kathryn Tiver, Institution: Flinders University...

Australian Heart Maps

Australian Heart Maps

Australian Heart Maps

Our Heart Maps allow you to take a closer look at heart disease indicators across Australia....

Moroccan vegetarian tray bake

Moroccan vegetarian tray bake

Moroccan vegetarian tray bake

30 minutes
Serves 2

Heart Foundation Walking

Heart Foundation Walking

Heart Foundation Walking

Learn more about Heart Foundation Walking and find your local walking group....

Targeting novel lipids in an oral based treatment for the failing heart

Targeting novel lipids in an oral based treatment for the failing heart

Dr Yow Keat Tham, Institution: Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute...

Beef recipes

Beef recipes

Beef recipes

Find heart healthy beef recipes....

Blood cholesterol

Blood cholesterol

Blood cholesterol

Keeping your blood cholesterol at a healthy level can help you reduce your risk of heart disease and other serious conditions. ...

Italian recipes

Italian recipes

Italian recipes

Find heart healthy Italian recipes....

Western Australian Cardiovascular Research Alliance

Western Australian Cardiovascular Research Alliance

Western Australian Cardiovascular Research Alliance

WACRA are the peak leadership body in Western Australian advancing research into heart, stroke and vascular disease to accelerate translation and improve health outcomes....

Pregnancy and heart disease

Pregnancy and heart disease

Information and resources for health professionals....

Improving heart health for people living with and beyond cancer

Improving heart health for people living with and beyond cancer

Associate Professor Aaron Sverdlov, Institution: The University of Newcastle...

What is a heart attack?

What is a heart attack?

What is a heart attack?

The most common cause of a heart attack is coronary heart disease....

About the Lighthouse Hospital Project

About the Lighthouse Hospital Project

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in Australia, but the burden of disease disproportionately affects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples....

Primary aldosteronism – a neglected cause of high blood pressure

Primary aldosteronism – a neglected cause of high blood pressure

Primary aldosteronism – a neglected cause of high blood pressure

WEBINAR | Lipids in the limelight: clinical update on screening and management

WEBINAR | Lipids in the limelight: clinical update on screening and management

Heart Foundation Research Award Recipients

Heart Foundation Research Award Recipients

Explore our research award recipients and projects...

Smoking and your heart

Smoking and your heart

Smoking and your heart

Understand how smoking can impact your heart health. ...

Personal Walking Plan

Personal Walking Plan

Refer patients to a six-week free Personal Walking Plan...