The 79-year-old man who narrowly escaped drowning a week ago Friday suffered a heart attack either during or moments after the incident.
Arthur West’s name and condition were released to the Caymanian Compass by relatives last Friday.
Mr. West is said to be still weak following his brush with death off West Bay Public Beach and will soon be flying for further treatment in Miami, sister-in-law Bertha Thompson, said.
‘We are just thankful to God that the Lathams rescued him. We’d been racking our brains thinking how we could find where they were staying until someone told us about today’s article in the newspaper,’ she said.
It is understood that Mr. West will be contacting the British vacationers personally once fit enough.
A hospital spokesman confirmed that Mr. West had been transferred from the hospital’s Critical Care to the Medical Unit when his condition improved.
Mrs. Thompson suggested that it was still unclear as which had come first; the heart attack or the near drowning.
‘He’s able to talk and has said that he didn’t feel any pain when he was drowning,’ she said.
What was certain was that Mr. West was not your average frail or overweight senior falling into difficulties in the sea.
‘Arthur’s swum all his life and is a fitness fanatic. He worked out six-days a week: running, cycling and swimming,’ she said.
Luckily for the West Bayer he was seen by heart specialist Dr. Kevin Coy. The consultation is believed to have been during the cardiologist’s first trip to Cayman since his appointment as visiting cardiologist was announced.
It is believed that Mr. West will be treated by Dr. Coy while in Florida.