Antonio Banderas says heart attack ‘one of the best things that’s happened in my life’

What's the difference between a heart attack and cardiac arrest?

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Banderas, now 61, was rushed to hospital after experiencing a heart attack in 2017. He only survived the ‘very dramatic’ ordeal because his wife had bought strong aspirin tablets the day before. Despite his close brush with death, the actor opened up about the event years later and described the experience as positive, overall.

the Mask of Zorro actor told Forbes: “It’s one of the best things that’s happened in my life,

“It opened my eyes to understand myself better, to understand my role in life, and to just realise the things that are really important.

“There’s a bunch of stupidities that I considered important before that just disappeared, that just sunk.

“Something changed.”

The actor even suggested that the events would change his acting style.

“You know, the food for an actor is life.

“Obviously, this event was very dramatic when it was happening. It opens my eyes in a different direction and establishes an order of priorities that was different than before,” he told Entertainment Tonight while at the Hollywood Awards in 2019.

Coronary heart disease, which consists of heart attack and angina, is responsible for over 73,000 deaths every year in the UK, according to the British Heart Foundation.

If a heart attack ensues, every minute that goes by increases the damage done to the heart and the risk of death.

Luckily for Banderas, the strong aspirins his wife bought the day before allowed him to respond immediately.

“She bought this aspirin, which is the only thing that she found and she found the maximum one, I think it was five milligrams.

“The next morning, when I started having the symptoms and I clearly knew what was going on, she put one of those aspirins inside of my tongue and that saved my life.

“So I had a second chance, and some stuff changed in my life, since then.”

Aspirin is a blood-thinning medicine which stops further blood clots from falling.

Typically the NHS may provide them after a heart attack to reduce the risk of further problems but it is safe to use Aspirin during a heart attack–suggests the Mayo Clinic.

However, the body recommends If you think you are having a heart attack to prioritise calling the emergency services first.

The main symptoms of a heart attack are:

  • chest pain – pressure, heaviness, tightness or squeezing across your chest
  • pain around your body – this seems to spread from chest to arms, usually the left one and your jaw, neck, back, and tummy
  • feeling lightheaded or dizzy
  • sweating
  • shortness of breath
  • feeling sick or vomiting
  • overwhelming feeling of anxiety
  • coughing or wheezing

It’s important to rest if you have had a heart attack to avoid unnecessary strain.

The way aspirin should be taken is to slowly chew it and then swallow a 300mg tablet.

After his ordeal, Banderas went on to play a character called Salvador – a drug addicted film director in the midst of physical and psychological decline in Pain and Glory.

Towards the end of the film, when his character is about to undergo a surgery, he tells the doctor that he is still writing, which Banderas described as “a way of him saying, ‘Don’t kill me, I still have things to do.'”

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