Randy Couture details health scare: 'Another 30 or 40 minutes, it would've been a different outcome'

On Oct. 23, former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Randy Couture suffered a heart attack.

Monday in an interview with ESPN,  Couture detailed the incident for the first time. The discomfort began for him in the gym. At the end of a training session, Couture felt exhausted – more so than usual. Couture knew something wasn’t right when he started vomiting

“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.’”

Instead of driving to the emergency room or calling an ambulance to take him there, Couture decided he would walk. Upon his arrival, doctors did an ECG. That’s when “all hell broke loose,” according to Couture.

“They’re like, ‘Dude, you’re having a heart attack,” Couture said. “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.”

Doctors sucked out the clot and inserted a stent. Couture was put on a blood thinner to stabilize the plaque in the artery. Following his discharge, Couture left the hospital on foot – the same way he came in.

Since the procedure, Couture is feeling much better.

“Jeez, I think I went eight or nine rounds sparring on Friday,” Couture said. “I feel good – a little sore from working out and getting back in the groove. Other than that, I feel great.”

When TMZ reported the news the day after the incident, a storm of calls and messages lit up Couture’s phone. He said the outpouring of support was surprising, even for a UFC Hall of Famer.

“By Thursday morning, it had gone public,” Couture said. “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.”

The experience of enduring a heart attack has given Couture a newfound perspective on life. He’s thankful for his self-compass in the moment. Usually, he’d try to brush pain off as being nothing. But for some reason that day, Couture figured it was better to be safe than sorry.

“I was lucky I came in when I came in,” Couture said. “If I had waited another 30 or 40 minutes, it would’ve been a different outcome … Any time something like that happens, it certainly gets your attention

“… 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.”

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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