Cardiologist hopes to decrease cardiac death in touring professionals

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — One Wilmington cardiologist is hoping to make a difference in the music industry.

Doctor Damian Brezinski recently created a nonprofit called ‘Keep the Beat Alive’. The organization is dedicated to decreasing premature cardiac death in touring professionals.

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Brezinski’s friend and patient Chris Musgrave spent more than 20 years in the music industry, but one day would be turning point for him.

“I was in town with a band called Fuel,” Musgrave said. “I was suppose to put on a show and I experienced my third heart attack while getting off the bus that morning of the show.”

The doctor who saved his life was Wilmington Health cardiologist Damian Brezinski, who has a passion for music too.



“Chris showed up on my doorstep one day with a heart attack,” Brezinski said. “Chris and I have known each other for fair amount of time. I was working in the music industry and we crossed paths, so he was a little surprised to find out what my day job was.”

While Musgrave recovered from his heart attack, they discussed what they could do to prevent this from happening to him and others.

“Cardiac death is the number one cause of death in touring professionals,” Brezinski said. “If you add homicide, suicide, accident, and overdose together you still don’t get to cardiac death.”

“It’s not so much the partying lifestyle that everyone used to think it it, but it’s still long grueling days, poor diets,” said Musgrave.

The hard and tiring lifestyle is why they are working toward having an automated external defibrillator or AEDs in all tour buses, venues, and production cases for free.

“This weekend we were in Florida with Def Leppard, Tesla, and Styx and outfitted six of their buses, their production cases, and their stage with AED’s and trained 22 of the staff,” Musgrave said.

“I’d like to see cardiac death cut in half over the next five years in the touring industry,” said Brezinski.

Brezinski and Musgrave says their mission is to make sure everyone just comes home.

You can learn more about the organization and how to donate on the Keep the Beat Alive Facebook and website.

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