Rick shared that Sarah really helped him stay positive amidst his health battle.
“I’m not manic depressive. I’m not really prone to depression, although all of us go through difficult patches. But what was attractive to me about Sas was that she always looks on the bright side, you know?" Rick said.
"Part of that’s being Australian. Australians, generally, take a slightly more optimistic view of life being in a country with lots of promise," he added.
Up until June 2022, medications were helping to reduce symptoms until the surgery was required...
He had open-heart surgery to replace his aortic valve, however, the night before his lifesaving surgery, Rick was contemplating death "big time," he told The Times.
Looking back on that time now, Rick can appreciate how lucky he was.
“But to be honest, having had the operation and recovered, the improvement in my health has left me tremendously optimistic," he said.
“Even though at my age and with the normal realities of life I’m not going to last that much longer, I think as long as you’ve got your health and you’re optimistic generally and enjoying your life, you don’t tend to ponder too much about how little life you’ve got left.”
Rick had previously spoken to Daily Mail about his operation, sharing that it was "scary" before he went in.
"Afterwards you realise if you had died you wouldn't have noticed, because you were under the anaesthetic," he told Daily Mail.
"An operation like that stops you in your tracks and makes you think about who you are. It's time to review your life. You've been through a very life-threatening experience.
"The surgeon says it's no more dangerous than the appendix these days, but to have your heart taken out, repaired and put back in, personally I'd say that's big!"