East County News Service
December 28, 2015 (Alpine) – Heart attack survivor Randy Truax of Alpine has been selected to appear in the 2016 Rose Parade in Pasadena on January 1st. He will be riding on the “Union of Hearts” float for the American Heart Association and Union Bank.
The prospect of a heart attack did not weigh heavily on Truax’s mind, even after he had experienced shortness of breath more than once, since he lacked a family history of heart disease or other major risk factors. The situation turned urgent, however, one summer morning when he awoke with extreme difficulty breathing. He was rushed to the hospital while in cardiac arrest, and immediately underwent emergency quadruple bypass surgery.
As he recovered, he improved his diet and learned to scrutinize ingredients, especially salt, which is so abundant in processed foods. One month after surgery, he participated in San Diego’s Heart Walk festivities. After four months, he returned to work in the Banker’s Hill community, where his experiences led to a renewed commitment to his branch’s work with the American Heart Association. By telling his story of survival, he hopes to teach people to take charge of their well-being and always listen to what their bodies are telling them.
Decorated with over 15,000 flowers and accompanied by the Bee Gees’ song Stayin’ Alive plus fireworks, the float pays tribute to the 30-year collaboration between the bank and AHA to fight heart disease and stroke, the nation’s number one and number five killers.
Union Bank employees and clients have donated nearly $7 million in the past three decades to support the American Heart Association’s research, education and prevention programs.