MMA Fans were shocked to hear that ‘The Natural’ Randy Couture had suffered a heart attack recently, and now the 56-year-old UFC hall-of-famer has spoken out in detail for the first time about what happened.
Couture told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani that he had been working out, but had felt unusually exhausted afterwards and then was sick.
“I knew something wasn’t right, because I’ve never been a puker,” Couture said. “I went home and thought, ‘Ah, I just overdid it.’ (I) laid on the bed for five minutes or so, and this ache would just not go away. I said, ‘Man, something is wrong.’”
Rather than phoning for an ambulance though, the former light-heavyweight and heavyweight champion walked to the hospital, only to receive alarming news when he arrived.
“They’re like, ‘Dude, you’re having a heart attack. They rushed me right up stairs to the cath lab. (They) went in through my wrist. My thick blood had created a giant clot in my main artery – the ‘widowmaker,’ of course. I had a plaque rupture and the blood goes like it would with any wound to heal that wound. My blood is so thick it created a clot that occluded the whole artery.”
Doctor’s later told Couture that if he’d waiting another 30-40 minutes he may have died, but thankfully doctor’s were able to clear out the clot and insert a stent, while he’s now been put on blood thinners to help prevent this from happening in the future.
Couture walked back home when he was released from hospital and isn’t letting his health scare stop him from getting on with living his life the way he always has done.
“Jeez, I think I went eight or nine rounds sparring on Friday. I feel good – a little sore from working out and getting back in the groove. Other than that, I feel great.”
That being said, even ‘The Natural’ has admitted that it has taken a bit of time to adjust to having faced his own mortality.
“… To have a heart attack was strange. It just chips away at your identity a little bit. Who you are. Who you thought you were. I’m certainly happy to be back, up, and running. I’m feeling a lot more normal. A lot more like myself.”
However, Couture says that in the hospital his spirit’s were lifted by all the people who got in touch to offer their love and support.
“By Thursday morning, it had gone public. TMZ did a thing on it and all that. My phone just blew up. It was amazing – overwhelming, the outpouring of love. I don’t even know what to say about that. It was pretty unbelievable. I appreciate all my fans and all the people out there that reached out to me.”