Heart Healthy

August 18, 2010 mommytobeaver

About 4 months ago my dad suffered an acute heart attack. To say this was shocking is an understatement. My dad was a member of the Navy and Naval Reserves my entire childhood and kept himself in pretty good physical condition. He would go jogging a few times each week for a few miles. He ate healthy and maintained a good body weight and blood pressure. So, when my mom called me that morning to tell me what had happened, it was so hard to understand and take in. Later on, we found out how lucky he was to have survived.

Without getting into too much medical detail, his heart attack wasn’t really lifestyle related. He had a bit of plaque that broke away from the wall of his artery. His blood formed a clot around this plaque since it was viewed as a foreign object. This blood clot then blocked his main blood vessel leading out of the aorta. Survival rate for this kind of heart attack is only about 10%. Out of that 10% there are varying degrees of damage to the heart and threat of recurrent heart attacks.

The first thing that went right for my dad was the fact that my mom immediately recognized the fact that he was having a heart attack and called 9-1-1. He had been working out on the treadmill but was having a hard time catching his breath. He came upstairs, showered and by that time could barely even sit up, this was when my mom made the call. By some stroke of luck, the paramedics that arrived got clearance to take him to our states best heart facility. Normally he would have been taken to a different hospital closer by. Why they got the clearance we can only speculate, but this was the second scenario which helped save my dads life.

Once at the hospital he was immediately put into surgery and had a stint placed in his vessel to help hold it open. He was in the ICU for 3 nights. During this time he was tired but aware of what was going on, mostly he seemed like  his usual self. He even started asking the Cardiologist when he could start jogging again! He was released after about 4 days in the hospital with instructions to take it easy. He went back for a check up 4 weeks later and some of the restrictions were lifted, he was also able to go back to work.

By this time, life was pretty much back to normal. The first week of August he had an echocardiogram done. My entire family was on edge. Dad seemed to be doing really well, he had even begun jogging again in short bursts. During previous visits the Cardiologist could find nothing of concern with his heart. This all seemed to good to be true and we were basically waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Well…..it didn’t! His echo came back clean! The nurse said there was no noticeable damage, his heart looked like a normal heart besides the fact that he permanently has the stint in place. On Monday, he and my mom celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary and here’s to many, many more!


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