Heart op awaits Fa'avae

00:00, Jun 21 2014

Nelson's Nathan Fa'avae will undergo heart surgery next month ahead of plans to compete in November's adventure racing world championships in Ecuador.

In 1999, now 42-year-old Fa'avae was diagnosed with atrial flutter, an abnormal heart rhythm. After supposedly corrective surgery in 2001, the condition escalated unexpectedly to atrial fibrillation. A subsequent procedure in 2005 proved much more successful.

Two years ago, Fa'avae led Team Seagate to victory at the adventure racing world championships in France.

However, a recurrence of the condition, prior to Seagate's recent win at the Expedition Africa event in round two of the world series, means Fa'avae must now face more corrective surgery.

Fa'avae said he was confident that the ablation surgery on July 16 would be successful and that his team of Sophie Hart, Chris Forne and Stu Lynch would be at the start line in Ecuador.

It means a month-long course of blood thinning medication prior to the procedure which involves cauterising abnormal arrhythmia-causing tissue, making it incapable of transmitting electrical impulses.


Fa'avae said it should take six weeks following the procedure until he's back in full training.

"It'll require two weeks of complete rest and over a period of a month, I can build up to my normal training volume," Fa'avae said.

"And if it's all gone well, then I'm good to go again."

Fa'avae said he'd learned to live with the condition over the years.

"I've got this condition. I didn't wish it upon myself, but I've got it and I just make the most of what I have at any given time. I don't know what the other option is really - I guess that's to quit."

Heart and soul, P15

The Nelson Mail