Walking to His Own Beat
Edward Sukyas’ morning walk takes him down a bustling section of Third Street in West Hollywood, past vintage stores, upscale coffee houses, and gourmet eateries—and past the spot on the sidewalk where two years ago he suffered a shattering heart attack.
On this chilly Los Angeles morning, Edward promises to point out where he was when he fell to his knees clutching his side in agonizing pain. But the 66-year-old commodities broker feels so healthy, so engaged in lively conversation that he strides right past the scene of his heart attack without taking notice until he is long past it.
“I don’t feel any sensation of handicap when it comes to my heart,” he says. “I feel great and the heart attack was simply a parenthesis—opened and closed.”
A stout gastronome with an infectious optimism and a somewhat difficult-to-place accent, Edward has enjoyed his quick-paced, daily hourlong walks in view of Cedars-Sinai for more than 10 years, and resumed them six short weeks after his heart attack.
He attributes his remarkably robust health to two shares of good fortune: one, that he was wheeled into surgery at Cedars-Sinai within an hour of the heart attack and, two, that he had the unprecedented opportunity to take part in the Medical Center’s revolutionary study involving the use of his own stem cells to “rebuild” his heart.