River Road coach educates others on heart health

It is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined, heart disease. To save lives and to raise awareness of it, the American Heart Association began National Wear Red Day. It is always the first Friday in February as folks across the country wear the color red to bring attention to this silent killer. Pronews 7 spoke with a local high school coach, who's sharing his heart transplant story to help save lives.

Ricky Guy is the girls basketball coach at River Road High School. But teaching life lessons to students doesn't stop on the hardwood. He said he's passionate about talking to them and the faculty on the subject of heart health.

"They need to understand that they need to start learning how to diet, eat right, and stay away from all the trans fats and the fast food. All things that are going to lead them into heart disease," said Guy.

It was just a few years ago that Coach Guy contracted a virus that destroyed his heart.

"I've experienced a lot in the last three to four years and as most of the people here in the Panhandle know I'm the recipient of a new heart from a wonderful donor and a family that actually gave me a gift of a new life."

It's that gift of a new life that Coach Guy said pushes him to educate those around him on the dangers of heart disease, the leading cause of death in both men and women.

"Exercise, rest, diet are so vitally important for all of us young or old that we take care of ourselves each day. If they have any signs, if they feel like that they're having chest pains or having any type of unusually feeling in their body you need to get it checked. You need to go to the doctor and get a checkup."

To show their appreciation for Coach Guy and help spread his message, the school participated in National Wear Red Day.

"For someone to live through that and have the opportunity to say that I got a heart transplant and I'm healthy and I can do stuff I couldn't do that's pretty amazing," said River Road High School 10th grader, Emily Powell.

A life changing experience that's helping change the lives of others, one heartbeat at a time.

Paying attention to your body is especially true for women since heart disease often has no noticeable symptoms.