“We were this close to not having him around anymore”, Mirinda Cafrae – Timothy O’Donnell’s wife – said in a video in which O’Donnell told his followers that he suffered a massive heart attack in March this year during Challenge Miami. “I was probably about two-thirds through the bike when it basically happened”, O’Donnell explains. “I started getting chest pains across my chest, shooting pains down my left arm, then my jaw started to lock up. I just knew this was not a normal race pain.”
O’Donnell even himself started to wonder whether it was a heart attack that he was suffering, but given the fact that he was still pushing around 300 watts on the bike, he thought it would be unlikely. Despite the pain, O’Donnell managed to complete his race and even cross the line in 11th place. After the finish he started to develop more symptoms though, including nausea and vomiting. That’s when O’Donnell decided to visit the hospital, where he found out that it was indeed a heart attack that he suffered. And not a small one, the doctors explained. The type of heart attack that O’Donnell suffered, is known as the ‘Widowmaker’. During this attack, the Anterior Descending Artery can get almost completely blocked. Only about twelve percent of people survives it.
Fortunately, O’Donnell is feeling a lot better now. He is even back in training. But when and if he will ever race again remains the question, he explains in the video below: