Dr Everold Hosein, who was born in California, Trinidad, overcame a heart attack to complete his 33rd New York City Marathon last Sunday, in a time of seven hours 40 minutes.
In November 2016, Dr Hosein was running his 32nd New York City Marathon but quit after nine miles (14.6 kilometres). He was running of out of breath too frequently and was at the very back of the pack of 50,000 runners.
Two days later, he found out that he was having a heart attack and, after tests, he got a stent (a medal/plastic tube inserted into the lumen of an anatomic vessel to keep the passageway open) and a pacemaker. The attending cardiologist said, “Your next Marathon should be faster!”.
The former Presentation College, San Fernando student underwent a few weeks of cardio rehabilitation, where he was engaged in a number of exercises, before he began training for the 2017 New York City Marathon.
He was relieved that he did not have to give up running. After a few weeks of cardio rehab, Dr Hosein was back to running short distances. In a few months, he started training for his 33rd consecutive NYC Marathon.
His fastest time was four hours and 22 minutes, which he clocked in 1987.
Asked why he felt the need to run a full Marathon after a heart attack, Dr Hosein said, “I suppose I wanted to see what the heart was capable of after a heart attack. The doctors said my heart was in good condition and that was due to my years of running. The heart attack caused no damage to the heart. I definitely wanted to keep on jogging, and my 33rd NYC Marathon became my goal.”
He continued, “My training was going well. And I thought ‘we’ll see how the heart deals with the Marathon’. It performed superbly. The Marathon was a bit wet but nice temperature, and I felt fine throughout the seven hours plus.”
Dr Hosein is a Senior Communication Consultant with the United Nations World Health Organisation (WHO), working on getting people to exercise as a major strategy for reducing the incidence of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. He is also an Adjunct Professor at New York University.
He stressed the importance of exercise for good health. “I hope we can get more folks in Trinidad and Tobago to at least walk 30 minutes a day, five days a week. It is our only hope for reducing diabetes and cardio vascular diseases in TT.”
Cardio vascular disease is one of the leading causes of death in Trinidad and Tobago, according to the WHO.
He cautioned however: “If you have had a heart attack, talk to your doctor about how much exercise is appropriate and whether a marathon is appropriate!”
The morning after the NYC Marathon, Dr Hosein was flying to Uganda for an assignment with the Ugandan Government.