So how do I/we end up in A+E promising my lovely, healthy eating, Exmoor loving, regular swimming, Snowdon climbing wife Lucie that, when she comes out of hospital, I will buy her a Jack Russell puppy?
Well this is a cautionary tale for all, irrespective of age, and one that does thankfully come with a happy end.
Time to reflect
It was sometime later – after we had had time to recover from the initial “you are having a heart attack” news – that I started to consider our financial position.
As a teacher, Lucie was fortunate to have the back up of financial support very similar to benefits offered by the NHS.
Like many NHS employees, Lucie had sick pay entitlement of 6 months full pay and 6 months half pay, plus the potential of an ill-health pension. Some medics, particularly dentists in private practice, are not entitled to such generous benefits!
The doctors were very unsure of what had caused Lucie’s heart attack; there were none of the normal symptoms associated with a typical heart attack. Thankfully our financial position meant that Lucie could hand in her notice and immediately remove one of the “potential causes” – stress.
How would your finances be impacted if you were in my shoes?
Are you aware of your sick pay entitlement? Do you hold enough income protection cover so that, if the same happened to you, you could still meet all your financial commitments?
Because I am an experienced financial adviser, you would expect that Lucie and I had adequate provision.
Even if you have income protection, it is advisable to have critical illness cover as well; cover that will provide a lump sum to at least repay your mortgage if the same does ever happen to you.
In actual fact, while I have substantial cover that runs for another 9 years, Lucie’s critical illness cover expired when our youngest (now 21) left secondary education at 18.
Despite this and the loss of Lucie’s income, we are in the fortunate position to be able to cope financially. Our 3 boys all remain financially dependent on us to various degrees – our youngest is in his final year at University.
Sadly though, any hope we had of helping them with deposits to purchase property has all but vanished. That does admittedly pale into insignificance for all of us when we think of what could have been.
As Lucie continues on the road to recovery, I count my blessings that I didn’t have to make a claim on her residual life assurance plan or receive a death in service payment!
Time to review (and some unstructured CPD)
The New Year starts with good intentions and resolutions.
We were very lucky in so many ways. The NHS are fantastic – thank you! We were also very lucky that the A+E Consultant Cardiologist recognised Lucie’s rare condition immediately and did not proceed with the insertion of a stent – it could have made things much worse.
So what was the condition that affects otherwise healthy young women and occasionally men? It’s called SCAD.
I urge you to take the time to read more about SCAD and help spread the word to your colleagues about this condition which is probably far more common than we think.
Lucie is now part of the Leicester-based research initiative hoping to provide answers to many unanswered questions.
If you think you are too healthy to have a heart attack, think again!, and please do review your cover.
Would your family be financially affected if the totally unexpected became reality? Do you have adequate protection to still provide for your future plans?
They are two very important questions you should at least know the answers to. We are here to help so please get in touch if you wish to discuss any aspect of protection for you and your dependants, even if it is just to provide reassurance.
PS Lucie and Lottie (Jack Russell – more Terrorist than Terrier) are walking for at least an hour and a half each day, both full of beans!