Finding Solace: Dick Clark Dies from a Massive Heart Attack

Undoubtedly; foundations and memorials will be established, funds will be raised for the cause, and heart disease will again be in the spotlight for a few days, and weeks. It has occurred in the past following the deaths of other celebrities and everyday people. The awareness created by these instances has garnered additional resources for research into the many causes of heart disease, and advances in treatment & prevention.

All sorts of people affected by heart disease are coming together and connecting to share stories, inspiration, and offer support to each another. We call them "Heartosauruses". They are patients, survivors, family members, and doctors & nurses. They share the common bond of "the broken heart club" and have something to gain or offer by connecting with others. Call it a fraternity, a club, or 12 step group for those affected by heart disease. Whatever you call it, it's catching on like wildfire and it's filling a void that science and foundations cannot. Heartosauruses are helping each other get through tough times, cope with surgery, and grieving for loved ones who've fallen to heart disease. They're not so much talking about the science of heart disease as they are the candid experiences, and seldom addressed issues that they face.

I had a great conversation today with Pat Peretta, an aortic dissection survivor who is active in the heart community and has a new-found zest for life after nearly dying. We agreed that this "drive" we experienced after our brush with death is a common denominator among Heartosauruses. Wanting to get involved with increasing awareness, raising money for heart charities, taking on new hobbies, and evaluating life from a new perspective are very common characteristics of heart patients, and the people that are close to them. For us, the challenges of Triathlons, Marathons, and fitness have become cornerstones of our recovery. Others though have taken on new careers or hobbies, flight lessons, knitting, golf, or meditation. Facing mortality is a catalyst for changes that are often unexpected but can be turned into positives with the right attitude. 

"American Bandstand" and "New Year's Rockin' Eve" host Dick Clark died from a massive heart attack Wednesday morning in Los Angeles. He was 82.

I will miss Dick on New Years Eve. I know that his family will grieve as families do for those who've passed whether they're an infant, old timer, celebrity, or an average Joe. Dick was a Heartosaurus for sure. "I've always said if I can stay healthy, I want to work until I die," Clark told The Times in 2001, a few years before he had a stroke. He climbed right back onto that stage after his stroke re-joining living rooms across the country. 

The ball will still drop on New Years without you Dick, -- but we won't drop the ball. We're Heartosauruses and we'll be carrying the same spirit that drove you to get back onto the stage after your stroke.


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