Friday, May 16, 2008

Caring for the miracle in your chest

I just wanted to praise the British Heart Foundation Doubt kills campaign.

Yesterday, for innocuous reasons, I had the chance to see my heart on an ultrascan screen. It was one of the most magical things I have ever seen. I could even see the valves shutting and opening.

It really is perfectly amazing that millions of years of evolution have produced this remarkable feat of natural engineering - four chambers all pumping in sequence, valves opening and shutting bang on cue, beating 100,000 times a day. It is quite incredible that it wasn't designed by an engineer!

But, of course, if an engineer had designed it and if it was built by humans, it would wear out with use. The quite extraordinary and miraculous thing about the human heart is that it improves and lasts longer the more you use it.

What a miracle!

The BHF Doubt Kills campaign urges people to dial 999 as soon as they feel chest pain. Given the high chances of an untimely meeting with one's maker in the event of a heart attack, this is sound advice.

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