On Friday, September 9, 2011, my dad suffered a major heart attack. This happened just days after returning from a horse ride in the Wind River mountains, which is hours away from any help or even cell phone service. He surely dodged a bullet by having it when he was close to home.
He was having chest pains, shortness of breath, cold sweat, and pain in his arm, shoulder, and neck. He called my sister Brianne, who took him right to Pioneer Valley hospital. He wanted to go to IMC, but it was rush hour on Friday night, and she insisted to take him somewhere closer. It's a good thing she did, because damage was being done to his heart every second.
One of the 3 main arteries that goes to his heart was completely blocked. They put a stent in that artery to open it back up. They also put him on blood thinners. He was able to go home on Monday the 12th, but isn't allowed to drive. He's advised not to be alone. He has to wear a "life vest" that will act as a defibrillator until help arrives, if his heart has any problems.
The lack of blood supply did some significant damage to his heart, and at this point (2.5 weeks later), his heart is operating at only 35%. He still has to wear the life vest, and they recently found a blood clot in the lower left ventricle. So he can't do any cardio work, since it can knock the clot loose and cause a stroke. He is currently on coumadin, to try to diminish the clot. He's very limited in his activity right now, which I know can be very frustrating to him.
It's so frustrating to me because he's one of the healthiest 64-year-olds I know. He's constantly on the move, and he makes wise food decisions. He doesn't have high cholesterol, he doesn't smoke, & he's not overweight. His only risk factors were his age, and stress, basically.
I'm really hoping the next few weeks and months will bring good news for him. I hope his heart can recover, the clot can diminish, and he can get back to a little bit of normalcy. He & my mom came to our sacrament meeting this past Sunday, since it was the kids primary program. It was so good to have them there!