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Muscle Sport Magazine

Legendary Dan Lurie, 88, Overcomes Health Scare

Dan Lurie Proves That He Really Does Have A Heart Of Steel!!!
A master of the iron game and a warm natured family man, it was only a play on words when Dan Lurie named his autobiography “Heart Of Steel” but the title of the book proved quite literal this summer as the 88-year-old physical fitness pioneer was electrically shocked several times by a steel device implanted in his chest called a defribellator.  Born with a heart murmur in 1923, doctors didn’t expect Lurie to live past age 5 but he defied those odds to become a renowned body building champion, world record holder and physical fitness aficionado.  In his 70’s , due to his lengthy cardiac history, doctors had the foresight to recommend a surgical procedure where they would place an electrical defribillation device underneath his skin and connect it with wires to his heart.  Almost 20 years later, the device was a lifesaver for him but the reason Lurie’s life was in jeopardy in the first place was astounding.  A little known household danger was the cause of his ordeal and now that he is on the mend, Lurie is on a mission to alert the public.
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It all started rather innocuously when Lurie got a minor cut on his leg.  He cleaned it out and didn’t think much of it at the time but being that he was out of hydrogen peroxide solution, he poured rubbing alcohol on the cut to sterilize it, instead.  It burned a bit but he is a tough guy and he thought he was macho enough to handle it.  He put a band aid on and continued with his business and repeated this regiment for a few days.  Everyone knows that rubbing alcohol is a sterilizing agent so Lurie’s mistake is a simple one to make and all too common.  What most people don’t know, is that rubbing alcohol should only be used to sterilize surfaces or on skin that has no lacerations.  Strangely enough, when applied on an open wound, rubbing alcohol actually causes infections.  This is due to the fact that the alcohol kills the surrounding tissue on the outside of an open cut and turns the dead tissue into food for germs to feed off of.  Therefore, unbeknownst to Lurie, his daily woundcare routine actually caused him to get a serious infection on his leg called Cellulitis which eventually required medical treatment including IV antibiotics.
What happened next was described as the perfect storm.  An adverse reaction to medications in Lurie’s body caused his potassium levels to drop to dangerously low levels.  Low potassium caused his heart to beat too fast and to fluctuate too far from a healthy sustainable rhythm.  The irregular heartbeats triggered his defribileator device nto action and it shocked his heart back into a normal rhythm.  Dan received a total of 14 shocks and this fact alone has astounded the doctors and medical staff alike who all agree it speaks volumes to Lurie’s great strength at 88 years of age.  Apparently, most people describe the electrical shock of a defribilator as being debiliatingly painful, a sensation as if they were kicked by a mule in the back of the neck.  But Lurie was shocked 11 times over 5 days before he even realized something was wrong enough to go to a hospital.  When he finally did seek medial attention, he was then shocked another 3 times (the last shocks he does liken to the mule experience) and he was admitted into the ICU where his condition was quite serious.  However, Dr. Mezzafonte, his cardiologist at St. Francis Hospital on Long Island was quickly able to identify the problem as low potassium and once he supplmented that mineral and stopped the medications that were causing him to lose potassium in the first place, Lurie quickly responded.  “It was a scary experience” Dan said, but he was very thankful to learn that his heart was actually not damaged at all from the ordeal and a full recovery was expected.
After a week or so he was released from the hospital but Lurie suffered a set back as he had began to suffer from insomnia, a complication caused by the current from the electrical shocks he received which slightly altered his body chemistry.  He had become supercharged and could not sleep or shut his mind down.  “It was almost comical” says one of his fifteen grandchildren.  “He was like super grampa on speed, stuck on fast forward.  But we were a little worried when more than a week went by and he had hardly slept a wink.  I don’t know how he had the strength to do it” he stated “I’m not even a quarter of his age and I was exhausted trying to keep up with him!!”   After having to return to the hospital for treatment for the insomnia, Lurie slowly began to return to normal.  He is currently back at home with his wife of almost 65 years and is thrilled to be on the mend and enjoying the end of the summer.    Lurie intends to take part in a promotional tour for his book this coming winter and is making plans to speak at several events around the country to spread the word about the hidden danger of rubbing alcohol when used in wound care.   After all, as his famous slogan goes, “Health is your greatest wealth.”
COURTESY OF DAN LUIRE

One Comment

  1. Gloria Diaz

    January 3, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    And to think this very kind man wanted to give me a start with no strings attached. Thanks Dan.

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