Thilagavathy Ganapathy, 64-years-old
“I’ve realised that it is so important to listen to your body. After all, it is the only one we have so must take great care of it.”


I’m a retired banker, turned housewife. I did some part time teaching in a kindergarten but spent my days at home, and doing Zumba to stay active physically and socially.

I would do Zumba twice a week. During one of the last sessions I was at, I started feeling very uncomfortable and a slight pain in my chest, so I sat down.

After awhile, I continued my Zumba. When I went home, I couldn’t sleep. I had to wake my husband and children to tell them I needed to go to the doctor. In the clinic, the doctor gave me a GTN to put under my tongue. I collapsed. The doctor said, “I just wanted to know if it was a heart problem or just a muscle pull”. He told me to go to the hospital but it was already one o’clock in the morning so I said “Never mind, I will just go early in the morning.”


When I got back home, I didn’t like the uncomfortable pain around my chest, so I told my husband we needed to go to the hospital immediately. When we got to the hospital, the doctors did tests and told me that I had two blockages. They immediately admitted me and put me on drip. I was told I needed to get stents in. I was scared but the doctor explained the procedure so thoroughly that all my fears of being in pain were at ease.

After the procedure, I was transferred to the ward after being in the ICU, and when I was discharged, I was advised to exercise and take care of my diet.

Right now, my fitness level has declined a bit but we’re trying to build that up again.


In spite of all this, I know I need to keep moving to stay healthy. My three sisters have been my personal cheerleaders who are always there to encourage me. That is really important, having family to push you to take better care of yourself.

The experience with my heart has taught me to never ignore the body. I’ve had breast cancer with a lumpectomy done, and pneumonia before. After all these challenges with my health, I’ve realised that it is so important to listen to your body. After all, it is the only one we have so must take great care of it.

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