Ex Nine boss's Byron heart attack: ‘I could have died’

FORMER Channel 9 boss David Gyngell is recovering from a heart attack on Byron Bay beach.

The 54-year-old TV legend was training on the beach last week with tennis superstar Pat Rafter when he experienced chest pain and a shortness in breath.

Although a fitness fanatic who regularly surfs on the north coast, Gyngell has a family history of high cholesterol.



David Gyngell with wife Leila McKinnon.
David Gyngell with wife Leila McKinnon.



"I'm OK now but it could have been a lot worse," Gyngell said. "If I hadn't been fit I could have died.

"I was training like I do most days. Then I felt tired and a bit weird but still went to breakfast with the boys."

It wasn't until he returned home that his wife, Channel 9 presenter Leila McKinnon, suggested he see a doctor.

ECG tests revealed Gyngell had suffered a heart attack and he was rushed into surgery at the John Flynn hospital on the Gold Coast.


Pat Rafter
Pat Rafter



"They've given me a couple of stents and I feel much better," Gyngell said.

"I got out of hospital on Saturday and I've just got to take it easy for a while and take my cholesterol medication

"But I feel like I've got a new lease of life."


Surfer Mick Fanning.
Surfer Mick Fanning.


Surfing champion Mick Fanning and Rafter were among his visitors in hospital.

He has also been inundated with messages of support from his friends at the Sydney Roosters.

Gyngell is now semi-retired on the far north coast, having sold his beer business in a $200 million deal with Carlton and United Breweries last year.

He has two children, aged five and six.



Originally published as Gyngell heart attack: 'If I hadn't been fit I could have died'