Smart Heart Stories of Survival: John Hysell

By: John Hysell Email
By: John Hysell Email

By John Hysell

I had a heart attack while I was driving my tractor and trailer across country.

I had no idea what the pain was that I was experiencing. I pulled into a hospital parking lot and began walking to the ER doors. About 20 feet from the doors, that's all she wrote.

I went down to my knees and awoke a little while later, welcomed back to life by a doctor at a hospital in Paduca, Ky. He explained that all the pain I had been experiencing over the last few days was a warning system telling me to go to the hospital.

I thought it was a pinched nerve and kept on eating Extra Strength Tylenol like it was candy. The next day, I had a stent placed in my circumflex artery, which was 100 percent blocked.

That was the first time.

The second time I was here in Augusta having a check-up at University Hospital with Dr. Rehman. He did an EKG, which looked bad, so he prepped me for a catherization once again, exactly one year from when I had the first one. Sure enough, three more stents were placed, making a total of four.

So far, I have cheated death twice.

Moving ahead to 2012, I am employed at Costco warehouse. I was working at full steam ahead, no signs of anything going wrong.

On Jan. 27, I was in Dr. Rehman's office for a check-up. He pulled out his EKG and it was worse than the last time. This time, I didn't feel any warning symptoms. They found out my sugar level was 525, leading to two more stents and a big lecture about taking care of myself.

I am now watching what I eat and getting moderate exercise. I was clearly not paying attention to my lifestyle, and I could have died.

I have four wonderful and beautiful daughters at home who still need their dad.

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