We believe companies should arrange for a regular awareness campaign for their employees to educate them about early symptoms of heart-attack, managing stress, diabetes control, early symptoms of cancer, managing in case of epilepsy attacks, burns, and accidents. Employee well-being is the responsibility of the organization. In many cases, awareness can save a life.
A Healthy U is also the Organization’s Responsibility
Alex Mathew worked as an Assistant Manager – Operations with a renowned Healthcare company for the last SIX Years. He worked in 2nd shift [2 PM to 11 PM].
14th September 2015
Usually, he would wake up late in the morning. In spite of having slept late in the night after celebrating the birthday of one of his friends, he still woke-up early on this day. He drove his wife to her office. Before she could walk out of the car, he kissed her and said, “I love you. I care for you. Take care”. It was the first time he had dropped his wife to the office in one year of their marriage.
He returned home and had breakfast with his sister, who was going to get married in November 2015. While having breakfast, he was making fun of her, sharing jokes and two of them had a great laugh. Before leaving for his office, he hugged his mother.
He reached office at around 1:45 PM. At around 3 PM he began feeling stiffness in his body and a kind of giddiness. Thinking that it could be because of acidity caused due to late night party & lack of proper sleep, he approached the medical center in his company. He could find only Medical Representative there who was attending to the calls. He explained the condition to him and asked for a medication that can control ‘acidity’ & he got it. However, things did not improve even after a couple of hours. He approached his Manager, explained the situation & took permission to rest for some time in the couch area. His Manager agreed & Alex tried to relax. Even that didn’t help him either. He was feeling suffocated and was sweating endlessly. He was feeling tightness around his chest. After around 45 minutes, he went to his manager and asked him to let him go. He didn’t realize that less than FIVE hours of sleep could affect him so much. He was cursing himself for drinking more than his regular quota of beer. He was afraid he was having food poisoning. He was profusely vomiting and dehydrating.
His manager permitted him to go home but before that asked him to see a doctor. He replied, “There is nothing wrong with me. I think last night’s dinner and less sleep is affecting me. I will go home and take rest. I will be alright by tomorrow morning”. His home is at a 45 minutes’ drive from his office. He took to a cab but that day it took a bit longer. As soon as he got down from his cab, he ran towards his home on the 4th floor. His father was watching TV in the living room and mother was preparing coffee in the kitchen. Both of them were surprised to see their son home so early. Considering his body-language, father thought that probably their son had some argument in the office and hence he came home early. Mother prepared coffee and took it for him in his room. He was lying on the bed. When she called his name, he turned towards her, looked at her and again closed his eyes.
She screamed & on hearing this, his father ran in. They didn’t know what happened to Alex. They were trying to move him but there was no movement. They immediately called for an ambulance. They reached the hospital where he was declared, “Brought Dead”.
According to the doctor, they were late by half-an-hour, Alex died due to cardiac arrest. A person who was just 33 years old, died due to heart failure.
A young man lost his life. His family was feeling guilty as they couldn’t do anything for him.
Hearts that throbbed for each other stopped
At 5 PM in the evening when he was about to leave from office, she was thinking of preparing a romantic dinner for her husband to complement his morning gesture. She received a call from her father-in-law to rush home immediately. And when she reached home, she was devastated to see the dead body of her husband.
Who Killed Alex?
Was it his ignorance?
Was it the medical representative at the medical center?
His family members?
The organization & Society at large?
All because of “Lack of Awareness” ……..
Early Signs of Heart-Attack
- Upper body discomfort
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Throat or jaw pain
- Chest discomfort, sweating
- Nausea, indigestion, heartburn or stomach pain
A simple awareness of this sort might have saved the life of Mr. Alex. Probably he didn’t know early symptoms of heart attack. Probably no one in his office could see early signs of heart attack. Probably Alex could have been saved had there been awareness among people in general and employees of an organization in particular to identify early symptoms of heart attack.
Sanjeev Himachali is a Strategic HR Consultant, Talent Strategist, Management Consultant and a Performance Coach. He exhibits over a decade and a half years of progressive, leadership experience and core competencies in talent acquisition, management, and development, HR program management, compensation & benefits management, and staff engagements.