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‘Take action’: Fundraising walk at Busselton Jetty to encourage South West blokes to keep an eye on health

Rachel GreenBusselton Dunsborough Times
Former Australian Cricketer Ryan Campbell is calling on South West men to prioritise their heart health after suffering a near-fatal cardiac arrest which left him in a coma for a week. 
Camera IconFormer Australian Cricketer Ryan Campbell is calling on South West men to prioritise their heart health after suffering a near-fatal cardiac arrest which left him in a coma for a week.  Credit: Justin Benson-Cooper/The West Australian

Former Australian Cricketer Ryan Campbell is calling on South West men to prioritise their heart health after suffering a near-fatal cardiac arrest which left him in a coma for a week.

This weekend, the MHT Foundation is taking to the Busselton Jetty for a fundraising walk to encourage men to speak up and seek help, to prevent negative health outcomes.

The walk is driven by Campbell’s story, as it will mark a year since the frightening episode, when he collapsed at a playground in front of his children, which led him to his role as Men Healthier Together Foundation ambassador.

“Like most 50-year-old men, I thought I was immortal,” he said.

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“My health had never been an issue and I probably just expected that to continue and took things for granted.”

After spending 21 days in hospital, seven of those in an induced coma, Campbell was given just a seven percent chance of surviving.

“I could have saved a whole lot of heartache by just being on top of things a bit better,” he said.

The MHT foundation community walk raises money and awareness, and encourages men to keep on top of their health to prevent heartbreak.

“For a developed country, with such a great standard of living, the fact that 50 per cent of West Australian men live with one or more chronic health conditions and 60 per cent of West Australian men will die early from preventable causes should not be acceptable,” Campbell said.

Men’s Health Walk organiser David Barton with Busselton Mayor Grant Henley.
Camera IconMen’s Health Walk organiser David Barton with Busselton Mayor Grant Henley. Credit: Jackson Lavell-Lee/Busselton-Dunsborough Times

Busselton physiotherapist WA Regional Director for Man Walk and Deputy Chair of the MHT foundation David Barton, said it would be the first of many MHT fundraisers in the South West.

“It’s all about encouraging those to take action and teach the importance of physical and mental health,” he said.

“Often people leave it too late, and we are all about increasing participation and awareness.”

Guest speaker Dr Michael Hunter from the Busselton Population Health Study, will also be talking to attendees about the importance of health research to health outcomes.

MHT Foundation chief executive Dana Henderson said men had a much higher rate of early death than women.

“Men’s data shows a declining trend in overall health and wellbeing — both mental and physical — and men are less willing to access help in the same way that women do, meaning they are more likely to be seeking help when they are in an acute state of poor health,” she said.

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