Running after Heart Surgery

March 2, 2017 Posted By: Ben Barker

Luis’ incredible story of running to aid recovery after critical heart failure

Luis is a Portuguese national living in Switzerland. He’s been playing Run An Empire as a beta tester for the last 12 months, but his running story starts 6 years earlier:

“In April 2010 I was rushed to hospital feeling an excruciating pain in my chest. It was an aortic aneurysm that had just ruptured (aortic dissection). I had emergency surgery to replace part of my aorta and my aortic valve with a mechanical one. I later found out that the chance of survival in a case like this is normally less than 1%.

“A few months later while still under medical monitoring, I started running as a form of physical recovery. In October 2013 I ran my first half-marathon in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 2014 I ran my first full marathon in Rio de Janeiro.

“In the same year, together with another 24 runners from all over the world with various medical conditions I was named as a Medtronic Global Hero (Medtronic is the world’s largest manufacturer of implantable medical devices). I ran the Twin Cities Marathon between the cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis in the U.S. as part of the Global Heroes event back in October 2014. I’m currently the co-host of the Global Heroes program, together with another Global Hero from 2014, Carrie Romero.

“During my running “career” I have also run the Paris Half-Marathon, a mythical trail event called Sierre-Zinal wich takes place in the Swiss Alps, an Ultra Trail of 70km in the Azores Islands in Portugal, a trail race in the swiss Alps called Trail Verbier – St Bernard in 2016 which I’ll run again this year.

“Running keeps me happy. It is my meditation. I run on asphalt. I run on trails. I run when it rains, I run on snow. I run because I enjoy that introspective moment. It makes me feel good. It makes me feel alive.

“I play Run an Empire because it’s a great way to make running fun. On top of that, it’s a great way to exercise without noticing it. I’m healthier and happier while conquering the world.

“I say this all the time… Life really ends in a blink of an eye. I’m extremely lucky to still be here. And on top of that, I have all my physical capabilities and I’m able to do what I love. Priceless.

Thanks Luis for being such an enthusiastic member of the community and telling us your incredible journey. Share your stories with #RunAnEmpire.