In the wake of the shocking news of two of our greatest cricket legend’s passing, sporting identity Guy Leech and leading cardiologist Dr Warrick Bishop raise some relevant points surrounding this tragedy.

While the country is in shock and mourning about the sudden passing of two of our greatest cricket legends, Rod Marsh and Shane Warne, and the condolences are pouring out from well beyond our shores, the unfortunate news is that both had succumbed to a heart attack.

Guy Leech, who has long been an advocate for routine testing and heart scans to attain early detection of cardiovascular disease and the scope to prevent a heart attack by taking timely measures, was actually on the same flight as Rod Marsh. Along with a host of other cricket legends, they had landed in Bundaberg and Rod left the airport ahead of everyone else only to suffer his cardiac arrest in the car to the hotel.

Guy Leech who has brought Heart180 defibrillators to countless gyms, workplaces and public buildings says:

“I keep asking myself what the outcome could have been if he had stayed with us. I even had a defibrillator in my baggage. Would Rod be alive today…?”

Australian preventative cardiologist, author and TEDx speaker, Dr Warrick Bishop is part of the Healthy Heart Network which encourages proactive Heart Health Risk assessment plus or minus Heart Scanning to check for risk of heart attack, raises the question:

“What would we do differently if we could turn the clock back?”

“Would we get tested early? Try to identify which level of risk group we belong to?”

While Shane Warne’s heart attack is not yet confirmed but suspected, we know that 20% of the population will face cardiovascular disease and that it is not necessarily the unfit, unhealthy or high-stress candidates who suffer a heart attack. Often it is the super fit, the healthy, and younger people. Guy Leech knows from first-hand experience, having lost a training buddy to cardiac arrest six years ago who was in his 60’s and has since urged everyone – not just who he trains with – to get tested.

Leech asks:

“Could Rod Marsh and Shane Warne’s lives have been spared if they had undertaken a Heart Health Test or 3D Heart Scan? Or if there was a defibrillator nearby?”

This sad loss drives our yesterday’s sporting heroes back to the top of our minds for all the wrong reasons. Let’s hope that people realise that perhaps with early testing these losses could have been prevented. And, get themselves tested.

Leech says:

“If you are at mid-life or 50+, then get routinely tested. No harm if everything is ok. But if not, it could save your life.”

The Heart Health Test is available free online from the Healthy Heart Network with access to a Heart Scan available without the need for a referral from a GP or specialist for appropriate patient groups.

Dr Bishop says:

“Let’s hope that these unfortunate losses of two of our greatest cricket legends inspire the nation to take the free Heart Health Test and hopefully prevent further unnecessary losses.”

Our condolences go out to both, Rod and Shane’s family and friends.