NINJA Warrior contestant Jack Gooch (25) says suffering a heart attack as a teenager and a surviving an horrific car crash just months later was the wake up call he needed to change his life for the better.
The Darlington strongman said the heart attack in 2012 left him in intensive care for more than three weeks.
“Doctors diagnosed an anomalous coronary artery, which is basically a defect in my artery I was born with, but they weren’t able to say whether I could have another heart attack,” he said.
“So I decided I wanted to be as fit and healthy as possible to reduce the likelihood of it ever happening again.”
But just six weeks after his heart attack, Gooch had another setback when he was involved in a sickening car accident.
“It happened on the Great Eastern Highway Bypass in January 2013 and it was an absolute miracle I survived,” he said.
“Nobody else in the car could have lived.
“However doctors failed to diagnose that I had a broken back and sent me home.
“For the rest of the year I couldn’t stand up straight or walk properly and it wasn’t until the following year a doctor found my back was broken.”
Gooch, who is now a personal trainer at Strength and Motion Academy in Midvale, took up rock climbing as part of his long road back to health.
He said the opportunity to compete on Ninja Warrior was a childhood dream.
“I’ve been watching Sasuke, the Japanese version of Ninja Warrior, since I was 10,” he said.
“I always thought it looked like a big, fun playground and from a very young age I wanted to do it.
“When the Australian version of Ninja Warrior came I just had to enter and give it a shot.
“I trained for six months solid before the show clocking up hours of the hardest exercises I could think of.”
The second season of the Channel 9 show will air from July 8.