Before and after my first heart attack

I almost died last month. To say it was a shock is an understatement. What started out as a tingling arm and chest tightness turned into a full-on heart attack and I was rushed to the emergency room where they gave me IVs, EKGs, and ran several blood tests. Being an active 62-year-old, I try to take my health seriously so I can be around for my wife, kids and grandchildren. However, there were apparently some early signs of heart trouble that I dismissed as just getting older.

Before that nearly fatal day I remember a few instances when I experienced sporadic jaw pain. I honestly just thought I had bitten down on something the night before and didn’t think much of it. I also remember feeling increasingly tired throughout the day, even after exercising and eating well. This was abnormal as exercise almost always energizes me rather than slows me down, but still I thought nothing more about it. I kept thinking, “I’m 62, the average age of a first heart attack is 66 years old.”

Then I woke up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat; my body felt hot but I was shivering and nauseous. I remember the pressure in my chest and vomiting, then my wife picked up the phone to dial 911. After that I woke up in a hospital bed with my doctor telling me that I had just had a massive heart attack. My family doctor gave me several action items to help prevent a second heart attack, all things that I was obviously more than happy to try. Among them, taking an aspirin daily as it would help prevent blood clots. He also prescribed me a statin medication that he said would lower my cholesterol and slowly reduce my risk of another heart attack, or stroke and would stop or decrease the progression of coronary artery disease. As I mentioned earlier, I regularly exercise and eat well, so my doctor advised exercise several times per week for at least 30 minutes a day and making sure that my seemingly healthy diet was in fact heart-healthy.

A second heart attack is a terrifying thought, especially given the fact that one out of every four men who live through a heart attack will die within the following year from another cardiac arrest. This fact alone told me I needed to do something different, I needed a better option.

Then I found Fraser Clinical Trials! They have an incredible staff and a new and exciting research study for those of us that have just recently experienced a heart attack. The research study will allow me to get high quality care from board certified physicians at no cost. The new medication that is being tested will be of no cost to me as well, and I am hopeful the extra care that I receive will lessen my chances of a second heart attack. I’m excited to have the opportunity to help advance medicine by participating in this research study. If you’re in the same boat as me, learn more below.

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