Masters legend Harold Morioka faces heart surgery today
Harold at Kamloops in July.
Harold Morioka may be the Job of masters track, suffering more than his share of physical afflictions and other issues. Now he faces one of his biggest tests — open-heart surgery today. Harold sent Doug Smith of Ontario a “dear friends” letter that ended with this amazing promise: “I’ve already booked and paid for my room in Kamloops for the World Indoor track and field championships in March. I plan to make a comeback so I’ll have to get ready for the meet.” If anyone can do it, it’s Harold. Please join me in wishing him a godspeedy recovery! Here’s what Harold wrote Wednesday: “Dear Friends, Last Friday I was given some bad news. I had been experiencing chest pains and shortness of breath for a few months. Lately it was difficult for me to jog even one lap of the track. I was getting out of shape … so I thought. After visits to my doctor, a cardiologist and finally to St. Paul’s Hospital for an angiogram, I was told I needed to have open-heart surgery. I haven’t been given a date but it will be soon, probably in September.”
Here’s the rest of Harold’s note to Doug:
There are three main arteries that feed the heart, one on the left, one in the middle and one on the right. The arteries start at the top of the heart and each of these arteries have more branches as they go down the heart. I have 90% blockages in my main artery and in the one on the left.
Unfortunately these blockages are at the very beginning of the arteries so apparently it is very dangerous. I have two more blockages of 70% in my main artery further down. I have another 70% blockage in my left artery. My right artery has two 30% blockages and a 40% blockage, but fortunately these blockages are further down. I have a few more smaller blockages in the smaller arteries. I’m a mess.
The surgeon said that they cannot clear the 90% blockages because of their location. At the very least, I will require a double by-pass for these two main arteries. What else they do will depend on what they see when they enter my heart. They will probably find that my heart is filled with friends. Don’t take them out!
After the operation and some rest I will resume training. Jogging one lap of the track will no longer be a problem. I’ve already booked and paid for my room in Kamloops for the World Indoor track and field championships in March. I plan to make a comeback so I’ll have to get ready for the meet.
Late this afternoon (Wednesday) I received a call from St. Paul’s Hospital. I’m going in Thursday morning for my pre-operation prep. I’m having my heart surgery on Friday. By Tuesday I should be able to start a little jogging down the hallway.
Doug Smith added:
Harold is one of the most well-liked people that I’ve met in all my years in the Masters. In lieu of him dealing with a ton of get well messages, I wished him the best of luck from all his friends across Canada.