March 30 isn’t just any other day for Rajan Arora. It’s the day he celebrates getting a second lease on life.
Rajan was in the hospital on March 30, 2012, getting checked because he had been experiencing shortness of breath. Despite being an avid exerciser he was having difficulty walking from the parking lot into work without running out of breath.
Doctors took him into the cath lab to look at his heart and found five blockages that would need to be opened with surgery. While he was in the cath lab, Rajan’s heart stopped.
Doctors revived Rajan and performed a quadruple bypass surgery over the next 12 hours to give him his second lease on life. He’s using that gift to share a positive message with others that he hopes can save their lives.
“I was always very careful about what I ate,” Rajan says, “but I had a strong family history of heart disease, and I had high blood pressure. I couldn’t beat the odds. Now I want to encourage others to listen to their bodies and do what they can to detect problems early.”
Rajan continues to exercise regularly, but has made some lifestyle changes to live healthier. “I eat a lot more vegetarian,” he says. “I’ve cut down on red meat and dairy. Once a week I’ll have a bit of fish or chicken.” He was also an occasional smoker. He’s given that up, too.
“You go through a lot of ups and downs, but it’s worth it,” says Rajan, who is married and has two adult children. “People need to hear positive stories. I hope this encourages them to get checked out and to live a healthier lifestyle.”