SPAIN’S World Cup 2010 winning captain Iker Casillas has been awarded an EHRA Gold Medal for services to cardiovascular health.
Casillas picked up the award in Barcelona at the annual congress of the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA).
The ex-keeper, 41, ended his playing career in 2020 after almost a year on the sidelines following a heart attack he suffered during a training session with his Porto teammates.
Unable to breathe, Casillas initially believed he was suffering from a grass allergy, but doctors on the scene quickly identified that he was having a heart attack.
Fortunately he was rushed to hospital where he had acute balloon angioplasty – a procedure that saved his life.
The retired soccer star said: “As I fell to the ground, I was desperately trying to get oxygen and realised it wasn’t coming. I was writhing in pain.”
“When the doctor told me I was having a heart attack, I couldn’t believe it. I do sports, live a healthy lifestyle, and was feeling good and strong, ” he added.
Since the events of four years ago, Casillas has become a proponent of the importance of heart health and the need to take action to prevent others suffering heart attacks.
He’s also become an active ambassador for Idoven – a health tech company advancing early detection and precision medicine for cardiology with artificial intelligence.
Castillas continued; “After what happened to me in 2019, I’ve learned so much about cardiovascular problems and everything that surrounds a possible heart attack.”
“I’ve stopped being afraid of it, I’m better informed and am now aware of how much organisations like EHRA are doing to help prevent cardiovascular disease.”
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