BUTLER resident John Whittingham’s perspective on life has changed since he was diagnosed with a serious heart condition four years ago.
“I now make the best of every day,” he said.
“I feel blessed because I know what I have – some people are taken suddenly.”
Mr Whittingham has atrial fibrillation, the most common abnormal heartbeat, which results in the upper chambers of the heart beating rapidly and out of sync, causing quivering of the heart walls.
He also has an aortic aneurism, and, as an advocate for exercise and a good diet, he walks 20,000 steps a day and cooks healthy meals for his family.
Having had dual careers as a psychiatric nurse and news cameraman, Mr Whittingham put both skills to use while working at The Hollywood Clinic by making training videos and ran a carers’ support group.
He specialised in grief counselling as a nurse, so understands the needs of those dealing with loss, as well as those living with heart disease.
Mr Whittingham will be the guest speaker at this year’s Heart Foundation Memorial and Thanksgiving Service at St George’s Cathedral in Perth from 2pm to 3pm on Sunday, May 6.
The event will be held during Heart Week, which starts on April 29.
At the non-denominational service, people can light a candle in memory of a loved one who passed away from heart disease, and give thanks for those who survived.
Clergy from the Salvation Army, Council of Churches WA, St Joseph’s Church and St Edwards Anglican Church will contribute to the service.
The One Achord Choir will sing hymns during the service and at the end white doves will be released as a symbol of love and peace, followed by an afternoon tea sponsored by Mareena Purslowe Funerals.
Who: Heart Foundation WA
What: memorial and thanksgiving service
Where: St George’s Cathedral, Perth
When: 2-3pm on Sunday, May 6
RSVP: call 9388 3344 before April 26