Man nearly died at his desk, warns others to find a better work-life balance

His name is Jonathan Frostick and he works for a investment bank in London. Last week, as he sat in front of his computer working on a Sunday he realized he was having a heart attack at the age of 45. Fortunately, he got his wife’s attention and she called London’s equivalent of 911. Frostick survived and upon recovering a bit in the hospital he wrote a post on LinkedIn with some rather unhappy reflections on what could have been his last moments on earth:


I didn’t get a flash of light, my life race through my mind. Instead I had:

1. F**k I needed to meet with my manager tomorrow, this isn’t convenient
2. How do I secure the funding for X (work stuff)
3. Shit I haven’t updated my will
4. I hope my wife doesn’t find me dead

So now that he’s assuming he’s probably not going to die, he’s also come up with a list of things that need to change in his life. See if any of these strike a chord with you:

  1. I’m not spending all day on zoom anymore
  2. I’m restructuring my approach to work
  3. I’m really not going to be putting up with any s#%t at work ever again – life literally is too short
  4. I’m losing 15kg
  5. I want every day to count for something at work else I’m changing my role
  6. I want to spend more time with my family

A number of people chimed in with responses saying they’d seen similar things happen to people they know:

“I know countless people in the last few years who have suffered life-threatening illnesses just simply because there is no downtime — always on call,” a management consultant from Alberta, Canada, wrote in reply to Mr. Frostick’s post. “It’s absolutely detrimental to our health, but we’re built on the existence that we always have to keep pushing.”

Another person described how she had became so burned out at work that she was admitted to a psychiatric hospital.

Because Frostick is still in the hospital he hasn’t given a lot of interviews but he did speak to Bloomberg about some of the reasons he found himself working 12 hour days and then eventually working on the weekends as well. He’s been under pressure to work the long hours because of courts costs involving his ex-wife. But he doesn’t blame anyone else for his situation. In fact, that’s ultimately his bottom line for anyone who wants to learn from his near-death experience:


Frostick, who has three young children, said he is responsible for the overwork and neglect of his health that culminated in the heart attack. Now he wants to share his wake-up call with others.

“I owe a responsibility to myself and other people,” Frostick said. “This happened to me, this could happen to you. You need to change that.”

Here’s hoping Frostick makes a full recovery and that he sticks to his new goals, loses some weight and finds a better balance. Someone suggested he write a book and maybe he should. Work from home has some advantages but being on call but completely sedentary for 60+ hours a week isn’t one of them.

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David Strom 6:40 PM | February 29, 2024