Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Quick thinking by his family helped Aftab Ahmed Ismail Sheikh avoid serious damage after a 'silent' heart attack.
Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National
Quick thinking by his family helped Aftab Ahmed Ismail Sheikh avoid serious damage after a 'silent' heart attack.

Heart attack victim: 'I was trying to shout for help, but couldn't'

Quick thinking by his family helped a man avoid serious damage after a heart attack.

DUBAI // Aftab Ahmed Ismail Sheikh awoke from a sound sleep with an unusual sensation.

"I could not open my eyes or speak," he said. "I was trying to shout for help, but I couldn't."

Mr Sheikh, 75, has had hypoglycaemia, or low blood sugar, for nearly 30 years, and his son assumed that was the problem.

"He was semi-unconscious and acting really strange," said his son Imran Sheikh.

"So my first instinct was to get him something sweet to eat."

Mr Sheikh's wife, Mumtaz, rushed to call an ambulance. Fifteen minutes later, paramedics arrived at the Sheikhs' doorstep.

Within minutes of being admitted to Rashid Hospital, at about 5.30am, Mr Sheikh was given an electrocardiogram, which measures the electrical activity in the heart.

He was diagnosed with a mild, or what doctors refer to as a "silent" heart attack, one that often has hidden symptoms.

Mr Sheikh, who is also a diabetic, has a family history of heart and blood problems.

His father had a heart attack, and his brother died of a heart attack that was most likely triggered by diabetes.

The fact that Mr Sheikh had smoked 10 to 15 cigarettes a day for about 10 years when he was younger could have also played a role, said Dr Khalifa Mohammed, a senior specialist in cardiology at Rashid Hospital.

Before discharging Mr Sheikh, Dr Mohammed gave him a "road map" of precautions and advice, including a series of check-ups and recommended food intake.

Mr Sheikh's family now understands the importance of the preventive measures.

"We have to be very serious in taking care of his health," Mumtaz said. "This includes the medication he has to take and the food he eats."

To Mr Sheikh, this means having less of his favourite foods, including omelettes and papadum.

But he realises that he must make compromises.

"I don't want to go to the hospital again," he said. "I'll regret it if something happens."


Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Lionel Richie performed many of his hits from the 1970s and 1980s at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre. Jaime Puebla / The National

Lionel Richie dishes out the hits to Dubai crowd

At his Dubai concert on Thursday, Richie greeted the audience with “Yalla habibi” – a statement of intent as his energy rarely let up.

Tyrese reunited with Fazza

Tyrese today posted on his social media accounts (Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) his pleasure at being reunited with the Crown Prince of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

 Falconry is an activity where they demonstrate how falcons catch prey while flying at a speed of almost 360 kilometres per hour. Mona Al-Marzooqi / The National

In pictures: Adventure in the desert at Abu Dhabi's Qasr Al Sarab

Mohammad Ashfaq, an adventure guide at the Qasr Al Sarab resort, Abu Dhabi, showcases a day in his working life.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

Video: Local reactions to a national fishing ban

A federal fishing ban has been imposed by the UAE federal government, but local authorities are taking diiferent approaches to implementing the ban. Two fishermen tell two very different sides of the story. Produced by Paul O'Driscoll

 An Egyptian Orthodox Christian priest give communion during the Palm Sunday service inCairo, Egypt. Mohamed El-Shahed / AFP

Region in focus - April 18, 2014

The best images of the last seven days from around the Gulf and across the Middle East.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National