Scott Pribyl – One in a Million
Scott Pribyl has been living with high blood pressure since age 27. Twelve years ago, that led to a nearly-fatal aortic aneurysm. Now in his mid-60s, Scott has written a book to share his perspective with other survivors. Learn more at ScottPribyl.com.
In 1982, at age 27, I was diagnosed with high blood pressure which later became RHBP - Resistant High Blood Pressure - meaning conventional BP drugs were not keeping my BP at healthy levels. I was often 150/100 or more. This eventually led to an aortic aneurysm in 2008, which led to a middle of the night emergency aortic dissection, and aortic valve replacement. I was not expected to survive the 20-minute ambulance ride from the first hospital to the surgical hospital, but obviously I did.
Under the amazing surgical care of both CT and vascular surgeons at 2.a.m., I survived, what they literally referred to as ‘unsurvivable.’ I was lucky to survive, then begin my recovery, rehab and eventual comeback. I was Lucky to be a “1 out of a million.” To then be fortunate enough to resume a weightlifting and exercise routine, author two books and have my heart return to a healthy status, is nearly unheard of. After 12 years of research, apparently I am the only person to have experienced this: beat the odds, cheat death, regain my heart health and write two books, plus exercise again. How? I will never know.
However, I brought the heart problems on myself. I wanted to bench press 400 pounds naturally - no steroids - and my body weight went from 170 to 230. While I had benched 410 pounds in competition and many trophies, my natural build wasn’t meant to support the weight I had achieved. Regardless if that weight is muscle or not - my heart had to work too hard to keep up with the demands my weight was putting on it.
I will be 65 next month. My message: check your blood pressure 3-4x per week; do not smoke (I have never tried it and won’t); exercise in moderation to maintain health, not to become Superman/Woman. I am not a doctor, but you should see yours - every year. If blood pressure is a problem, treat it. If you have excess weight, lose it; stop smoking and exercise- start with walking. I promise anyone who reads this will not want the experience I had. None of us are “bulletproof.” I was lucky- but don’t rely on luck!