By TOM DOUGLAS
Seventeen minutes without a heartbeat set Jim Poling off in a new and life-fulfilling direction.
“They say you can only survive 19 minutes with a shut-down heart, so it was a close call,” Jim related recently. “Even so, a stroke suffered on the operating table left me blind in one eye.”
The Canadian author had been living on borrowed time for more than 40 years – since the day when, as a 15-year-old, he’d been diagnosed with a congenital heart problem.
“It’s called aortic stenosis — a narrowing and stiffening of a main valve that controls blood flow from the heart,” he said. “I was told nothing could be done. Open-heart surgery was unheard of then. I’d have to learn to accept the situation.”
This medical finding was a double blow. Not only would Jim be living with a biological time bomb in his chest, his dreams of becoming a bush pilot like the legendary Wop May and Al Cheesman had just crashed-landed. [Read more…]