'No warning signs, no history - just boom!' – chef opens up about cardiac arrest

An Indian takeaway founder is urging the public to be vigilant about their heart health

An Indian takeaway founder is urging the public to be vigilant about their heart health - Credit: Supplied by Kaysar's Kitchen

A Hatfield chef and Indian takeaway founder has opened up about his brush with death during National Heart Month. 

Prior to October 2019, Kaysar Ahmed's life was happy, quiet and surrounded by family, football and food - through his work at Kaysar's Kitchen in Stockbreach Road.

Then, aged 39, he experienced a cardiac arrest. He explained how he was laid on the cold hard ground of a football field feeling his life slipping away from him.

He said: "I felt blessed and extremely fortunate to embrace each and every day doing things that I loved with the people I love around me.

"Then that cold October morning in 2019 I suffered a massive cardiac arrest.

"I may have only been 39, but I knew I was staring death in the face as I gasped for breath feeling like my chest was exploding. 

"It all changed in a split second.

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"No warning signs, no history - just boom! As I was being airlifted to Harefield Hospital and drifting in and out of consciousness, the irony that it was my heart failing was not lost on me.

" I have spent my life pouring my heart into my cooking. Every spice, every taste, every nuance of perfection in my cuisine came from my heart and now my heart was breaking.

"I spent four days in intensive care. I could see the fear and worry on my wife Rushnara’s face every time she saw me surrounded by the life saving machines.

"Thankfully, I had the most amazing doctors and nursing staff- my team, my family, my faith and my passion for life and cooking helped me pull through those dark days.

"My heart attack changed my life. The passions I embraced before are stronger and even more important. While, like so many of us, I struggle with being classified as "vulnerable" during this horrendous COVID pandemic and all that entails, I am so grateful for every moment of every day.

"My passions in life are still from my heart, but now with every beat of my heart I love my family a little stronger. I create and cook with a little more joy - I am filled with gratitude that I am still here."

Kaysar's takeaway is open for collection and deliveries. For more see kaysarskitchen.co.uk.

The British Heart Foundation has named February as National Heart Month, see bhf.org.uk for more.

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