HOUSTON—Describing his second heart failure in the span of two years as “a real wake up call,” obese 6-year-old Nicholas Bleyer announced Tuesday that he was finally trying to turn his life around.
The 155-pound kindergartner, who previously underwent bypass surgery in 2011 after going into cardiac arrest on a local seesaw, was reportedly at home eating a post-breakfast snack when he began complaining of chest pain and had to be rushed to the hospital.
“After the second ‘big one,’ I figured my body was clearly sending me the message that I can’t go on living like this,” said Bleyer, pausing to catch his breath. “I’m serious this time. I’ve gotta start eating right, going to sleep at my bedtime, and getting some exercise instead of sitting on my ass all day watching Bubble Guppies marathons.”
“The old ticker’s taken enough abuse already,” continued the overweight kindergartner. “I’m not looking to test fate here.”
Admitting that he still suffered from some bad habits he picked up early in life, the 6-year-old vowed to reduce his caloric intake by cutting down on eating chicken fingers, hot dogs, and toaster pastries, as well as sticking to juice boxes instead of soda.
As per his pediatrician’s orders, Bleyer also said he planned to begin a cardio workout routine that makes sense for someone his age, alternating days between chasing insects, spinning around in circles, and doing some “light playground work.”
Yet despite his newfound resolve, Bleyer acknowledged that he should have been more aware of the warning signs in recent years.
“My friends and I have always been big guys, but when my old preschool buddy Ethan dropped dead of a heart attack a few years ago while stacking blocks, that should have set off alarm bells,” said Bleyer, who also had lost an obese classmate who never woke up from naptime. “At the time I remember promising myself I’d join a Gymboree, but of course I never did. And now look at me. I’ve got the arteries of someone 12 times my age.”
“Luckily, I’ve been given a second chance to work off this guy,” said the child, patting his gut.
While the 6-year-old acknowledged that he had “dodged a bullet this time,” Bleyer told reporters that he wished he still had the stamina to play tag with the youngsters like he used to without feeling like his chest was going to explode.
“I’m just grateful to get a new lease on life,” said the kindergartner. “If I eat right and stay active, who knows, maybe I could live to see double digits.”