I am
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

MyMarathon

MyMarathon

MyMarathon

The fundraising race where you set the pace. Run, jog or walk MyMarathon at your own pace during October....

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Join the fight against Australia’s biggest killer by supporting the Heart Foundation.  ...

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

Full list of clinical guidlines and references for CVD, heart failure, ACS, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, SCAD and RHD...

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Join the Heart Foundation community. Together, we can make a real difference for Australian hearts. ...

Are you at risk of heart disease?

Are you at risk of heart disease?

Are you at risk of heart disease?

There is no single cause for any one heart condition, but there are risk factors that increase your chance of developing one. ...

Help make heart disease history!

Help make heart disease history!

Help make heart disease history!

48 Australians die from heart disease every day. You can help save lives....

Support and resources for health care professionals

Support and resources for health care professionals

Support and resources for health care professionals

Our range of clinical and patient support resources are available for you to use in your daily practice....

Dessert recipes

Dessert recipes

Dessert recipes

Find heart healthy dessert recipes....

Dairy and your heart health

Dairy and your heart health

Dairy and your heart health

Not all dairy products are equal. Discover different types of dairy foods and their impact on heart health....

Sodium and salt converter

Sodium and salt converter

Convert the sodium listed on food products into grams of salt or vice versa. ...

Heart Safe Community

Heart Safe Community

Heart Safe Community

Heart Safe Community is a program that aims to increase a person’s chance of survival if they suffer a cardiac arrest outside of hospital. ...

Fit, active and healthy – Sharon wasn’t expecting a heart attack

Fit, active and healthy – Sharon wasn’t expecting a heart attack

Fit, active and healthy – Sharon wasn’t expecting a heart attack

Fit, active and healthy, Sharon wasn’t expecting a heart attack. However, after experiencing a ‘widow maker’, she counts herself lucky....

Physical activity in the workplace

Physical activity in the workplace

Physical activity in the workplace

Resources to help you create a more physically active workplace....

Women and heart disease

Women and heart disease

Women and heart disease

Information and resources for health professionals....

Advocating for healthy hearts throughout Australia

Advocating for healthy hearts throughout Australia

We're addressing the disparities in heart health so all Australians can live longer, healthier lives....

Returning to work after a heart attack

Returning to work after a heart attack

Returning to work after a heart attack

Discover how to plan for your return to work....

Healthy Food Access Tasmania

Healthy Food Access Tasmania

Healthy Food Access Tasmania

We've been working on several projects with local governments across Tasmania, big and small....

Heart Foundation Walking

Heart Foundation Walking

Heart Foundation Walking

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

Seafood recipes

Seafood recipes

Seafood recipes

Find heart healthy seafood recipes...

Absolute CVD risk assessment resources

Absolute CVD risk assessment resources

Resources and clinical information for health professionals...

Our corporate partners

Our corporate partners

Our corporate partners

We value the support of all of our corporate partners....

Remember a loved one with a tribute

Remember a loved one with a tribute

Remember a loved one with a tribute

Honour the life of a loved one with a donation to the Heart Foundation. Your donation offers hope for Australian hearts....

Peter is breathing easy again after heart valve surgery

Peter is breathing easy again after heart valve surgery

Peter is breathing easy again after heart valve surgery

Peter has lived with a rare heart condition since he was 14, but hadn’t given it too much thought until his 30s....

Help others in need through a gift in your Will

Help others in need through a gift in your Will

Help others in need through a gift in your Will

Ian “did not hesitate” to leave 100% of his estate to the Heart Foundation....

Baking recipes

Baking recipes

Baking recipes

Find heart healthy baking recipes ...

What is heart failure?

What is heart failure?

What is heart failure?

Heart failure is a condition where your heart isn’t pumping as well as it should be....

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....

Become a corporate partner

Become a corporate partner

Become a corporate partner

Partner with us to help us fight for Australian hearts....

What is cardiac rehab?

What is cardiac rehab?

What is cardiac rehab?

Cardiac rehab is proven to keep you out of hospital and reduce your risk of death from heart conditions....

Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance

Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance

Alliance with chronic disease prevention stakeholders...