On September 19th, 2016 Jeffrey Doucette’s heart stopped beating. He was driving when he had a massive heart attack which caused him to cross four lanes of traffic during rush hour. Luckily he didn’t hit any other vehicles, but when he hit a curb, he says his heart miraculously started again.
Jeffrey says he feels blessed to have been brought back to life and to have been located just 20 minutes from the number one Pulmonary/Cardiovascular research center in the country. He spent a week in the hospital “undergoing every test imaginable.” He says,
“[I was] diagnosed with severe Congestive Heart Failure operating at only 25% capacity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. My heart failure was a result of 15 years of uncontrolled sleep apnea. Testing revealed I was having 122 (one hundred and twenty-two) apnea episodes per hour. My blood oxygen level was decreasing to 72% during each episode.”
Fifteen years prior Jeffrey had been told he had sleep apnea and was warned if he didn’t get it under control it would take 15 years off his life. He says,
“…wouldn’t you know it, 15 years to the month I died. It causes heart failure and brain damage over time and is a slow death and kills without warning, suddenly as it did me.”
Jeffrey left the hospital wearing a cardiac defibrillator that monitored his heart 24/7 and would release a jumpstart shock to his heart if it failed again. Being at risk for Sudden Cardiac Death he began weekly visits to a cardiac specialist which includes blood work and testing. This was just seven months ago.
Fortunately Jeffrey’s cardiologist is a vegan and encourages his patients to adopt a whole food plant-based diet with absolutely no animal products. Jeffrey has been following the doctor’s advice for 7 months, and three weeks ago he received encouraging news. His followup echocardiogram showed a 100% recovery! His heart had returned to it’s normal size, down from 2x its normal size just seven months earlier. But that’s not all the good news as Jeffrey shares:
“My diabetes is gone. My high blood pressure is gone. My eyesight improved by 2 prescriptions less and I am down 65 lbs and continuing to fall to whatever nature intended on me being.”
Jeffrey shares details of his journey to wellness on social media. In one post he recalls going to an outdoor screening of Dead Pool the year before. He had to take the shuttle from the parking lot and says,
“I could barely breath to walk a few steps without stopping. This was before my accident and I didn’t know i was in full blown heart failure. [Today] I’m here. No shuttle. Climbed the stairs. Barely winded. Feel great!!“
Now when he goes out to events he plans ahead. Getting ready to attend Film on the Rocks: Fifth Element, he prepared these bags of fresh blueberries, strawberries, watermelon, honeydew and lemon drop melon. Jeffrey’s eating the rainbow even on the go all while inspiring others to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Jeffrey says he gets asked often how much it costs to eat this way. The market haul pictured below cost him a total of $57 to feed two adults.
“I don’t think it costs much more than $400 a month to be on a delicious alkaline rich diet. This will create many meals. Add in the large salads [and] my diet is complete.”
Jeffrey, aka Chef Jeff, is now sharing his vegan recipes, like the delicious-sounding oil-free salad dressing pictured above. He also shares his story and journey to help inspire. His advice to others seeking wellness is:
“Anything is possible. Poor health as a result of bad dietary choices or hereditary illness is both recoverable and preventable. It’s important to be as healthy on the inside as we appear on the outside.“
One fresh salad, plantiful soup, and fruit symphony at a time, Chef Jeff is sharing a powerful solution to prevent and reverse heart disease.
Reya Steele is a holistic health journalist and nutrition educator. She is constantly inspired by stories like Jeff’s where plants give people a new lease on life, and more time with the ones they love.
Healing With Plants is a health education channel/website providing you with research, inspiration, and recipes to help you heal with plants. If you don’t want to miss a single good news story, subscribe to Healing With Plants on YouTube and follow us on social media.