Superintendent Darryl Johnson spent nearly four months recovering from heart surgery. Photo: Warren Lynam / Sunshine Coast Daily
Superintendent Darryl Johnson spent nearly four months recovering from heart surgery. Photo: Warren Lynam / Sunshine Coast Daily Warren Lynam

The ticking time bomb that nearly killed our top cop

IN his role as a Queensland police counter-terrorism expert, Darryl Johnson learnt a lot about bombs.

But the Sunshine Coast District Superintendent never realised the time bomb that came so close to claiming his life was ticking away in his chest.

A routine visit to the doctor after taking part in the Surf Lifesaving Australian championship revealed Sup Johnson had a series of blockages in his arteries.

Within days he was booked in for a quadruple heart bypass operation that saved his life.

This week, nearly four months after his surgery, and he was finally able to routine to work with a new appreciation of his "mortality".

"I went for a test after I competed in the Aussies in the surf boat for Mooloolaba," Sup Johnson said.

"It was a routine test, but they found I had severe blockages of the arteries.

"I felt nothing before hand. I am counting myself very lucky.

"I was booked in for surgery the following week. It was only a matter of time before I had a (heart) attack or even worse."

Sup Johnson doesn't smoke or drink heavily, he has always kept fit and active and the 52-year-old had no reason to suspect his health was in extreme danger.

"It was very fortuitous I had the test and the angiogram," he said.

Sup Johnson said his doctor ascribed the blockages to something he had no control over, his genes.

"My dad had heart issues," Sup Johnson said.

"It is nothing diet and exercise could have fixed."

Recovery from the major surgery had taken time.

"It is day by day, I had to increase my exercise to get my fitness back up and my lungs back to capacity," he said.

Sup Johnson said he couldn't heap enough praise on the medical staff here on the Sunshine Coast and at St Andrews in Brisbane".

He hoped his experience would be a reminder to others to have their check ups.

"It was a timely reminder of our mortality," he said.

"You remember all those family and friends, that's what counts at the end of day.

"It reminds you of the important things in life."

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