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Work-life balance debated as man's first thought during heart attack was missing meeting

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Writing on LinkedIn, Jonathan Frostick told the story of a “pretty standard” Sunday which almost ended with him losing his life. The post has since gone viral, sparking a discussion about a healthy work-life balance.

Mr Frostick explained the Sunday was like any other, including “coffee, a trip to the local country park, a shopping trip and late lunch,” as well as preparing for work the next day.

At around 4pm, he began to experience what he now knows was a heart attack.

He said: “I sat down at my desk at 4pm to prep for this week’s work. And then I couldn’t really breathe. My chest felt constrained, I had what I can only describe as surges in my left arm, my neck, my ears were popping.”

Writing in hindsight, some of the most horrifying parts of the ordeal for Mr Frostick were the thoughts that ran through his mind as he thought he was about to die.

Instead of a “flash of light,” he was worried that “this isn’t convenient” due to upcoming work commitments.

He stated that his wife was fourth on the list of his concerns, after two work-related issues and the panic over not having an up to date will.

The bank worker has since made several decisions during his recovery in hospital in an effort to change his life following the “near death” experience.

He wrote: “1. I’m not spending all day on Zoom anymore

2. I’m restructuring my approach to work

3. I’m really not going to be putting up with any s**t at work ever again – life literally is too short

4. I’m losing 15kg

5. I want every day to count for something at work else I’m changing my role

6. I want to spend more time with my family.”

The post has since received hundreds of thousands of likes and over 11k comments on LinkedIn as people have shared their empathy with Mr Frostick’s situation.

READ MORE: Heart attack: Four lesser-known signs

One wrote: “I left a job recently because the work/life balance was basically nonexistent. People worked constantly and management had no apparent issues with that. Now I am with an organisation that values employee downtime and understands that people need to refresh, away from work, which only makes us better at our jobs ultimately. It shouldn’t have to take someone getting this ill for this to be recognised, and companies need to ensure that things don’t get to this point by not working people (almost) to death.”

Another said: “I think working at home has forced people to face things we’ve been ignoring. Let’s face it, most of us didn’t have a healthy work/life balance before the pandemic. We’ve been literally working ourselves to death. As tragic as this pandemic is, we’re learning a lot of valuable lessons from it. Glad you’re feeling better Mr. Frostick. Keep us posted and best of luck to you!”

A third shared a similar experience: “Thank you for sharing. I too was thinking about work as my wife was driving me to ER. I only needed open heart surgery, valve replacements and months of recovery. It was rough. As soon as I fully recovered, I booked a trip to Paris with my family. Life is short.”

According to LinkedIn, Mr Frostick has worked at HSBC for almost five years.

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In a separate post, Frostick clarified that he was never made to work on weekends and had a great relationship with his manager.

He wrote: “Yes I shouldn’t have, but I wasn’t forced to. I am deeply passionate about what I do. I’m a (fortunate) living example of getting the mix wrong.”

A spokesperson for the bank said: “We all wish Jonathan a full and speedy recovery. We also recognise the importance of personal health and well-being and a good work-life balance.

“The response to this topic shows how much this is on people’s minds, and we are encouraging everyone to make their health and well-being a top priority.”



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