Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner will undergo heart surgery after suffering a heart attack — originally described as a “minor heart scare” — earlier this month.
- Mr Gunner experienced a heart attack on Saturday, January 18, and has been off work since
- He says he will be back to work on Monday
- He says a blood clot was responsible for the heart attack and he will have corrective surgery to stop it from happening again
In a post on Facebook on Wednesday morning, Mr Gunner, 44, confirmed he suffered a heart attack while at home with his wife.
Mr Gunner has been on sick leave since it was first reported he experienced chest pains on Saturday, January 18.
Michael Gunner FB
The Chief Minister said he was yesterday informed by his cardiologist the chest pains were in fact symptoms of a serious cardiac episode.
“Yesterday I met with my cardiologist and we now know a lot more than we did a week ago,” Mr Gunner wrote.
“The doctors have now told me that what I experienced was a heart attack.”
On the day of the heart attack, Mr Gunner said he and his wife took his chest pain seriously, racing straight to the hospital to receive medical attention.
“And thank God we did,” he wrote.
“It came from nowhere, there were no warning signs.”
Mr Gunner said he did not have any risk factors for heart disease, and said doctors suspected a blood clot was responsible for the heart attack.
“[It’s] a freak thing that could have happened to anyone, and this time it happened to me,” he wrote.
Mr Gunner says he will miss a week’s work after undergoing surgery. (ABC News: Alan Dowler)
Mr Gunner said he was confident he would make a full recovery after surgery.
“As a precaution, doctors are going to do corrective surgery to plug a tiny hole in my heart so there is no risk of a future problem,” he wrote.
“A lot of people have these tiny holes and there is no issue — but I’m just making extra sure that it can’t happen again.
“After [surgery] I will need a week of recovery, then I’ll be as good as new and can get stuck into work again,” he wrote.
Mr Gunner did not say when he was likely to undergo the procedure.
In another health scare in October last year, Mr Gunner was treated at the Borroloola health clinic for an undisclosed matter. At the time, he said: “Thanks to everyone who sent well wishes. Back at it today.”
Treasurer Nicole Manison, who will continue as Acting Chief Minister in Mr Gunner’s absence, said it was “great news” he would be back at work next week.
Ms Manison added that the corrective surgery would be done “as soon as possible”.
“He’ll have a very quick recovery after that and he’ll be back at work at full strength,” she said.
“This is only requiring a very, very minor piece of surgery and he’ll be back at work a week later, so he’s going to be absolutely all good, fighting fit and he’ll be back in the chair on Monday.”