David Ray


It was in 1975 that I gave up smoking (cold turkey) and immediately began to gain weight. Obviously I needed to exercise and began walking, first short distances but eventually for periods of over one hour. Eventually my fitness got to the point that walking did not seem to be enough and therefore I began a regime of jogging and running until I reached the stage where I was ready and wanted to run marathons. By 1992 I had completed 9 marathons and decided at I would run one more to make up 10. I started training hard but one day I found that after a kilometre I was having difficulty breathing and was reduced to a walk. This happened every day that I was training but I could not work out the reason. Eventually one Saturday morning I was doubled up with severe pain in my heart region and almost collapsed. When the pain had gone I started running again only for the same pain to return. I returned home believing the pain came from my heart and went to see my doctor. He confirmed that I had blocked arteries and prescribed a "puffer" to take whenever I had the pain. He also arranged for me to have a series of tests.


The upshot of all the tests that I had was to have a heart bypass operation which I did in late July 1993, just a few days before my 60th birthday. However before this, on 17th March 1993 I retired from my job as Manager of the Trade/Tariff Division in the New Zealand Customs Service. I chose 17th March because of my Irish background.


Two days after my heart bypass operation, in front of my wife who was at my bedside virtually the whole time I was in hospital, I had my stroke. Of course I cannot remember any of this but my wife yelled, yes yelled, for a nurse and she and the doctors did what they could to minimize the problem. When I awoke the next day I could not remember where I was and even did not know my wife

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David How wonderful to hear from someone about Timaru ,I am from NZ & lived in Timaru for about 4 years in the 1960's, My name is Anne, my Father was a Policeman in Timaru before we moved to Mataura, further South I went to school, in Invercargill .

Then moved to Dunedin to work as a Nurse assistant, Then back to Christchurch where I was born I married had 2 children & moved To Australia in 1988 & have lived here ever since, not many people know where Timaru is let alone talk about it ,Your story is lovely & I wish you well for the rest of your life.


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