Hurling legend DJ turns lifestyle around after heart scare
HURLING legend DJ Carey, who had a lucky escape from two health scares, is determined not to let stress weaken his defences against illness again.
He has reinvented his lifestyle after ending up in intensive care more than two years ago, when a virus attacked his heart at a time he was feeling low over personal and financial problems.
Last year, he was back in hospital when he underwent surgery to remove life-threatening blood clots, which were discovered during his earlier collapse.
Breakfast is now wheatgrass juice instead of his favourite fry, and he is back on his bike cycling as well as training with his old hurling club in Gowran, Kilkenny.
"The three big influences on health are diet, stress and hereditary factors. We can do a lot about the first two ourselves," he said.
He was speaking at the launch of the 2013 Pfizer Health Index, which has tracked health and well-being in people for the past eight years.
It showed 90pc believe depression, anxiety and mental health problems have increased since the recession.
Money worries and unemployment are leading causes of mental stress and one in three say it has caused divisions in their family, with a similar number blaming it for other illnesses.
DJ said: "I can't emphasise enough how important it is to look after your health, and in particular your mental health.
"Thankfully, I have no lasting effects and my underlying level of fitness helped me out of it. I played some hurling with my club this year and all is good."
At the time of his collapse, he was under strain after a high-profile break-up with former 'Dragons' Den' star and partner Sarah Newman.
"I was in a relationship and then not in one. After the illnesses, I went back to what I did best and was good at. I did my best to eat well and sleep and try to deal as best as I could with the issues before me."
He has not found a new relationship but is making a business comeback with a company called Go-To Communications, which installs credit card machines. And he has a book 'DJ' due for launch next month.
Meanwhile, the health index found significant concern around the impact of social media.
Three quarters of people agreed that modern technology and social media can be detrimental to young people's health.
Nearly one in two with a child under 16 in the house agreed.
The index showed that a fall in the numbers of people with health insurance and a drop in medical card provision meant that around 950,000 now have neither – and pay for healthcare out of their own pockets.