Isuzu Motorsports’ driver Bruce Garland is recovering at his home in Sydney after having open-heart surgery a week ago.

The Dakar Rally veteran, who suffered cardiac problems while on holiday in Melbourne with wife Celena, had coronary artery bypass surgery (CABGS), with surgeons carrying out five bypasses.

Professor Ian Meredith, Director of MonashHeart [see photo] was involved in Bruce’s heart attack management initially, then the surgery was performed by Professor Julian Smith at Monash Medical Centre in suburban Clayton.

“I’m a bit sore and sorry looking but they’ve patched me up pretty well. I think they used a bit of fencing wire to tie the ribs together, and then there’s a fair bit of silastic on the wound in my chest, and on my arms and legs where they took the veins out.

“I’m not going to win any beauty contests any time soon, but I haven’t in the past anyway! What I am, though, is alive and I have the team at MonashHeart to thank for it.

“Everyone whinges about the health system until they need it, then you find out how amazing our doctors and nurses are. When you’re recovering from an operation this big, all you can do is lie back and watch what’s going on and I can’t believe the level of care I had – it was just fantastic.

“Half a generation ago, I would be dead. Now I’ll be fitter than ever, thanks to the technology and the care. When I’m back to 100 per cent, I’d like to do something special for the team who looked after me, just to say thank you.”

Bruce now faces up to six weeks of recovery in the immediate future, with exercise, a full cardiac rehab programme and check-ups with a Sydney heart specialist all part of a longer-term plan.

CABGS patients are not allowed to drive for six weeks after their operation, so Bruce was a reluctant passenger on the way home from Melbourne. Of more concern, though, is how soon he will be eligible to regain his CAMS licence. He plans to do exactly as he’s told with the aim of being back behind the wheel of his Isuzu D-MAX by the middle of the year.

Aside from the wonderful care at MonashHeart, the Garland family was buoyed by messages from around Australia and the world. They would like to thank everyone for their care and concern – it was very much appreciated.
Isuzu Motorsports will keep you posted on Bruce’s progress. 
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