A Second Chance at Life

John Currier with his wife Beth and their children and grandchildren last Thanksgiving.

In an instant, your life can change. Tampa Electric’s John Currier knows that all too well. One minute the Director of Grid Modernization wasn‘t feeling too hot in a work meeting and the next, he’s being rushed to the emergency room.

It was the summer of 2019. “I was feeling flush, sweaty and experiencing shortness of breath while doing chores like mowing the lawn,” recalled John. “Then, one day late in July, I was really feeling ill during a work meeting, went home and found my blood pressure extremely elevated.”

John went to a nearby fire station for a check and paramedics sent him straight to the hospital. “After three days of testing, my cardiologist eventually found arterial blockages,” said John. A stent may have cured the blockage, but John’s diagnosis was far more severe requiring emergency double bypass surgery.

“I could easily have had a massive heart attack if it wasn’t for my strong heart beating through the arterial obstruction,” shared John. “Immediately after I woke from an eight-hour operation, I felt my cardiovascular system functioning much more efficiently and clearer. Boy, was I lucky!”

Four years after his life-changing surgery, John is a new man. “Today I feel like I did in my thirties. I am 20 pounds lighter and exercise every day through my walking regimen,” said John. “With some medical assistance, my cholesterol and other key metrics are very healthy. I enjoy life and work more than ever as I am blessed with a second chance. I never felt better!”

With a new lease on life, John has sound advice for his colleagues at TECO. “Watch your blood pressure particularly when the bottom number exceeds 100,” said John. “Also, watch for fatigue, shortness of breath and irritability. Manage your stress, weight, diet and implement a disciplined exercise regimen. If you have any family history of cardiovascular disease, do not underestimate the risk of the ‘silent killer’ catching up as we age. Complacency is the biggest reason it advances and often strikes sometimes in most mortal ways.”

He would also advise you to join him come Nov. 4 for the Tampa Bay Heart Walk at Raymond James Stadium. “My family feels honored that TECO is taking a leadership role in our community. The annual Heart Walk, in which I participated as a survivor, is very personal.”

So, even if you can’t join in-person, it would mean so much to John and Tampa Electric if you help the American Heart Association’s mission with a donation today. Even the smallest gift can make a difference. Because every dollar donated goes toward saving more lives like John’s. “I am a lucky one who survived a near death experience. My perspective is so different and my discipline toward health is only due to a second chance in life,” said John.

John Currier, seen here at a TECO event, received a Fitbit for his birthday following his double bypass surgery. “I average 25,000 steps per day and have now walked 16,650 miles since my surgery,” said John. “My goal is to figuratively circle the Earth within 6 years (25,000 miles). I would never have taken on such a personal goal if it wasn’t for my life-changing health event.”

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