I Survived Cancer and a Cardiac Arrest | Djara Walgien

Table of Contents

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Djara Walgien, a fellow heart warrior from the Netherlands, who not only survived a cardiac arrest but also battled cancer a decade ago, endured a sudden cardiac arrest in his sleep after discovering his heart condition just 3 months prior. Luckily, his wife was there with him to save him—along with plenty of other people who soon came to his aid.

Timestamps of this episode:

  • 00:0002:29 Intro
  • 02:3004:33 The benefits of a positive attitude
  • 04:3309:56 The story of Djara’s dilated cardiomyopathy diagnosis and his cardiac arrest
  • 09:5716:44 The Dutch healthcare system: how it impacted Djara’s survival and care plan
  • 16:4520:06 Djara’s ICD: how it works for him and how he feels about it
  • 20:0726:46 Djara’s recovery process: physical and mental help and struggles
  • 26:4729:20 Coping with an incurable condition: Djara’s perspective as a cancer survivor
  • 29:2131:00 Cancer awareness versus cardiac health awareness
  • 31:0134:49 The current treatment for Djara’s heart condition: types of medication and their daily impact
  • 34:5036:23 Support the Heart Warrior Project
  • 36:2442:40 The biggest challenges after the cardiac arrest: changes, uncertainty and restrictions
  • 42:4144:44 Dealing with cancer and a cardiac arrest: mindset and having meaning
  • 44:4546:31 How Djara involves his kids in the conversation about his cardiac arrest and ICD
  • 46:3251:58 What Djara wishes he had learnt sooner: annoying ICD sensations and changing the device’s settings
  • 51:5955:50 Getting an ICD shock: Jellis shares his experience and answers Djara’s questions
  • 55:5157:24 What helps Djara cope
  • 57:251:02:14 Current challenges
  • 1:02:151:06:53 Djara’s advice to other survivors
  • 1:06:541:07:56 Outro
  • 1:07:571:09:07 Support the Heart Warrior Project

Note that The Heart Warrior Project is run by one guy, which is, yes, me.

Like most people, I have bills to pay.

If you have found or come to find anything helpful or insightful here on the website, please consider supporting The Heart Warrior Project.

If you are a survivor, I would recommend buying either a Heart Warrior t-shirt or a Heart Warrior mug—or both!

I, together with an illustrator, created the design for them (and we’re working on more cool designs to come). 

Both the t-shirt and the mug are made from durable and quality materials, and don’t they look just great?! Of course, these are just suggestions, but I do not think you will regret having them.

I personally love wearing the t-shirt myself. And I drink my coffee every day out of my Heart Warrior mug

If the t-shirt or mug doesn’t speak to you, there are a few other ways to support The Heart Warrior Project:

  • DONATIONS: The project accepts donations. Anything, even as little as 1 dollar, can help me keep this project alive.
  • AFFILIATE LINKS: If there are any links to a product mentioned in an article or podcast episode and you are interested in buying it, consider doing so through the provided link. Likely, it will be an affiliate link. What is an affiliate link, you ask? Basically, it is a link where I could earn a small commission if someone buys the product through that link. Buying through this link will not cost you anything extra.
  • SPREAD THE WORD: If you like what I am doing here, you could always simply spread the word about this project to anyone you think might benefit. It would help a lot.

Choosing any of these ways to support this project will truly help me a lot in putting out more content and building The Heart Warrior Project further.

Many thanks, 


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    Hey, Jellis here.

    Together with Eva Mpatshi, a very talented Belgian artist who has been my go-to tattoo artist for years, we made a new incredibly stunning, awesome-looking design for our mugs!

    Want to get your own heart warrior mug (and why wouldn’t you!)? By clicking on the button you’ll be taken to the page to select which color you would like.