The untimely death of my dear friend Scot Clark

 It’s been nine weeks since my last newsletter.
After pressing send on April 18th, I went out to work in my yard; the weeds were out of control.  I am working away, listening to Kid Rock (I swear it makes me more energetic), and I get a phone call from my best friend, Ric.  
Now Ric and I text and call each other often.  That weekend, in particular, we spoke in-depth on Friday night while he and Scot cooked their dinner and me mine. On Saturday, we checked in on the progress of our projects.  So, when he called on Sunday, I thought, “wow, the trifecta – he must have finished the fountain”.  
I picked up the phone, and his voice was shaking; he said, “Kara, I don’t know how to tell you – Scot died”.  I am in shock. I just spoke with Scot on Friday night (two days prior).  I might have said the dumbest thing ever, “what”? 
Ric went on to tell me that Scot went out for his usual run and died suddenly of a heart attack.  
This is what we knew to be true on April 18th.  Since then, the autopsy is complete, and we now know that Scot died of sudden heart failure due to an enlarged heart. An average size heart weighs 300-400 grams, Scot’s heart weighed 490 grams.  His arteries were 80% blocked.   
On April 18th, while Scot was running, his heart stopped, and he died.  He was 58 years old.
You might be wondering why I am writing about this now.  Well, there are a couple of reasons.
I have known Scot for more than 35 years, and he meant the world to me.  He is the life partner, soulmate, and husband of my best friend and brother.  His death has shaken me to the core, and I would be remiss not to share with you my thoughts on some factors that could have possibly saved his life.  
As you know, I am not a doctor, but I did work in prevention with physicians for years, and I understand how prevention measures get implemented.  Often, it can take one incident that shakes someone to make a change.
Without offering too many details of Scot’s medical history, I can share that he had high blood pressure and cholesterol.  Scot had a family history of heart disease. His twin brother died of a heart attack in 2009 at the age of 46.  
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, causing about 1 in 4 deaths. The term “heart disease” refers to several types of heart conditions.  
Scot would have been a great candidate for a heart scan, also known as a coronary calcium scan.  It is a specialized X-ray test that provides pictures of your heart that can help your doctor detect and measure calcium-containing plaque in the arteries.  The test is low risk and highly beneficial for any physician treating heart disease.  In our view, this is a no brainer prevention measure that needs to be implemented.
Ric called me last night and shared a letter that he wrote Scot’s doctor encouraging him to implement this important prevention measure in the future.  You might wonder why Ric wrote the letter and if Scot’s physician will even read it.  I know he will read it, and I am 100% confident that he will act on it.  Scot’s doctor loved him.  He even called Ric on April 2oth when he found out that Scot died; he was in shock like the rest of us.
Of course, I can’t write a wellness and nutrition blog without offering advice on just that.  
Scot looked terrific; he was fit, ran four times a week, ate a healthy diet (most of the time), and seemingly had his blood pressure and cholesterol under control.  Looks are deceiving; Scot died of heart failure at the young age of 58.
I am challenging each of you to do these things for your healthGet your blood pressure checked – Hypertension is the silent killer.Get your cholesterol levels checked.Incorporate healthy foods into your diet.  Eat more salad and lean protein.  Stop eating processed garbage food. 
Your life depends on it!
In health, 
Spread the Word!