Ex-Wimbledon semi-finalist Todd Woodbridge suffers heart attack aged 51

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Todd Woodbridge has shared a warning after suffering a heart attack aged 51. The 16-time doubles Grand Slam champion said it served as a “wake-up call” despite leading a fit and healthy lifestyle, and he is now urging people to get health checks after the scare.

Woodbridge revealed that he suffered a heart attack just seven days ago after returning home from covering the US Open and Laver Cup. It comes just months after fellow retired Australian athlete Shane Warne was found passed away after suffering a heart attack aged 52.

And the former Wimbledon semi-finalist has admitted the episode has been a “wake-up call” as he urged other middle-aged people to get health checks. “It was last Thursday, I tried to keep my routine having travelled to the US Open and London and I was just exercising and had chest pains and every symptom when you look up Google – full sweats and I felt awful,” he told the Herald.

“I had a little heart episode that goes down as a mild heart attack which is a bit of a shock to me.” The 51-year-old said the heart attack served as a shock given his healthy and active lifestyle, and says his experience shows that “it can happen to anybody”.

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The retired doubles legend continued: “I consider (I) lead a pretty good fit healthy lifestyle – I keep active, I eat well, I do all the right things, I enjoy doing that. It’s been a wake-up call to me to make sure I look after myself. If it can happen to me it shows that it can happen to anybody.”

Woodbridge is now urging others to get health checks after learning that his family’s medical history put him at risk despite his healthy lifestyle. “I’ve hit that age now where I need to make sure that I have regular testing, get to the doctors,” the retired pro said.

“I’d urge anybody out there coming off the last couple of years (of lockdowns), where we’ve gone, ‘nah I’m OK, haven’t been to doctors, haven’t had check ups’, to ensure you get out there and do that. I’ve been fortunate enough to go and get all the tests and I’m OK. With good monitoring and a bit of mild medication moving forward, I’ll be fine.

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“But what I did learn was how important hereditary genes are to your health and I am aware that both my mum and dad have had a few issues with needing some stents and my dad had very high cholesterol. If I take care of that I have the ability to be fine into the future. But if you don’t take care of that you are putting yourself at risk.”

And Woodbridge doubled-down on his plea for others to make time for health checks, adding: “My advice is don’t put off what you’ve been planning to do. Because I’d been planning to get my next bits of tests, we all lead a busy life and that becomes next month and then that becomes six months and you still haven’t done it and I was a bit guilty of that.

“The best part is I’m back up and running. I need to take it easy, I can’t do anything physical but I’m still able to do my general work.”

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