HealthWatch (WFRV) -- February is a month dedicated to raising awareness about heart disease.
Most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain and discomfort. Many times people aren't sure what's wrong and wait too long before getting help. Which is why it's important for us to listen to our bodies.
Roy McKeefry didn't. A few days before Christmas Roy wasn't feeling well.
"I just kind of ached all over. I had Muscle aches, cramping in my hands and a headache. As the day progressed, I started getting heartburn in my chest, which got worse as the day progressed." Said Roy.
Roy thought he had the flu and went to an Urgent Care Clinic.
"The doctor at the clinic told me I was having a heart attack." Said Roy.
Roy was sent to the Catheter Lab at Aurora BayCare Medical Center and Interventional Cardiologist Dr. Scott Weslow.
"Roy had a 100 Percent blockage that was causing a large Heart attack. He also had a 60 to 70 percent blockage in another artery." Said Dr. Scott Weslow.
Dr. Weslow put multiple stents in the artery to open the blockage. But instead of using a standard catheterization Dr. Weslow chose a radial catherization.
"Radial Cath is done through the wrist. The standard catheterization are done through the groin. More and more data is coming out showing a radial cath has less complications and is safer." Said Dr. Weslow.
It took Dr. Weslow only twenty-two minutes from the time Roy hit the hospital to opening up his blockage.
"His Heart Muscle did not sustain much damage" Said Dr. Weslow.
Roy spent one night in the hospital and was back home for Christmas.
According to the American Heart Association:
Signs you are having a heart attack.
1- Discomfort, like pain or pressure in the center of the chest that last more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back.
2-Pain and discomfort in both arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
3-Shortness of breath.
4- Breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
To learn more, you can call Aurora BayCare or email HealthWatch at Aurora BayCare dot com.