If you watched the 2017 Australian Open semifinals (Rafael Nadal VS Fernando Verdasco), you might recall the match being stopped temporarily as it became apparent that someone in the crowd needed urgent medical attention.
That particular person was luckier than most who suddenly go down in a heap while clutching their chest...
He was fortuitously located only a few rows in front of where the outgoing President of the American College of Cardiology was also watching the game.
Dr. Kim Williams M.D. rushed to the aid of the unconscious man, checked his vitals, and monitored him until paramedics arrived.
A former tennis pro himself, the super fit 62 year old Dr. Williams has maintained a love of the game throughout his 38 years in cardiology.
Prior to serving as the 2015-2016 President of the American College of Cardiology, Dr. Williams had his own epiphany when a routine cholesterol check-up revealed unexpectedly high levels of LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol.
For someone who considered himself healthy (playing tennis daily and ensuring he only ate skinless chicken and fish), the numbers came as a rude shock.
Spurred to clean-up his arteries and be a better role model for his patients, Dr. Williams began to look more deeply into where cholesterol might be creeping into his diet.
He came across some vital information that he had never been taught in medical school: that only animal products contain cholesterol.
From that moment of awareness, Dr Williams became a committed adherent and proponent of a plant-based vegan diet.
He says: "The number of scientific articles on mortality with animal product consumption has led me to feel very fortunate that I changed when I did.
"This was about a lot more than just a cholesterol level.
"It was about avoiding multiple chronic diseases and early mortality."
His next appearance will be in the James Cameron produced film The Game Changers, which premiered recently at Sundance.
The film also features Australian Olympic sprinter, Morgan Mitchell, former bodybuilding champion Arnold Schwarzenegger and other high level athletes, medical specialists, and activists.
Dr. Williams appeared in this short PBN documentary
Determined not succumb to the leading cause of avoidable and premature death in the Western World (and increasingly, those developing countries who are beginning to eat like us), Dr. Williams is on a mission to educate both his colleagues, patients and the general population that a diet consisting of plant foods significantly improves health outcomes.
He says: "Getting nutrition information to physicians and nurses is critical for prevention of disease.
"It always concerns me that cardiologists die of heart disease so often.
"My plumber has good pipes in his house. My electrician has good wiring. Why would a cardiologist die of heart disease?"
'Young at heart'
Dr. Williams was the keynote presenter at a first of its kind event for Australia this week.
The Nutrition in Healthcare Symposium ‘Young At Heart’ Symposium took place in Melbourne at RMIT University on January 23 and focused on 'bringing light to the emerging movement towards utilising plant-based nutrition in the frontline of best-practice preventative medicine'.