A South Australian Labor MP is recovering in hospital following a heart attack during a group run on the weekend.

Key points:

  • Mr Piccolo is the Member for Light, which includes the township of Gawler
  • A regular runner, he says he experienced unusual chest tightness during a run on Saturday
  • He is recovering in hospital after having a stent put in

Member for Light Tony Piccolo shared the news on his Facebook page on Sunday, saying he had a “pretty poor result at Gawler Parkrun” on Saturday morning.

He said he crossed the finish line in 28 minutes and 36 seconds. “Worst result in 12 months,” he wrote alongside a photo of him in a hospital bed.

Mr Piccolo, who is 61, was rushed to hospital following the event.

“I wasn’t feeling that well, which was unusual for me because I tend to do the five kilometres quite well, and I had to stop a few times,” he told the ABC on Sunday.

“I was just short of breath and [had] just tightness of the chest.

“I finished the run, the five kilometres, but then I was just feeling worse, so I rang my family doctor and they recommended I go to the local hospital.


“They did a couple of tests and told me I had a heart attack, so they quickly got an ambulance and I was ferried very quickly to the Lyell McEwin Hospital where I had a stent put in very quickly.”

He said he was “very surprised” to hear the diagnosis because, although he had felt unwell, he did not expect it to be so serious.

Mr Piccolo said he was “generally reasonably fit” and ran regularly, so he was recovering “very quickly” and would likely leave hospital on Monday.

He said he was thankful for the “wonderful” doctors and nurses who treated him.

“I’d very much like to thank both the nurses and doctors at both the Gawler Health Service and also the Lyell McEwin,” he said.

“They were very efficient, very professional, but also very caring. I can’t fault the care I got from the people involved.”

SA Labor leader Peter Malinauskas sent his best wishes to the MP, posting on social media that he hoped Mr Piccolo had “a very speedy recovery”.

“Never seen a harder working, more committed Member of Parliament,” Mr Malinauskas said.

Despite the heart attack, Mr Piccolo’s recorded run time was just three and a half minutes below his average.

“My best time is 24 minutes and 23 seconds,” he said.

“I usually do around 25 minutes or just under and I did 28 minutes and 36 seconds, which is probably the worst result in about 12 months.

“Looking back, perhaps next time I might stop sooner.”