The 47-year-old retired Oklahoma National Guard service member exercised several times a week, didn’t smoke, ate relatively well and drank a lot of water.
But on March 26 when he was playing paintball to celebrate his son’s 16th birthday, he began to experience extreme pressure and an achy feeling in his chest that he thought was just gas.
Several hours went by and he tried taking antacids and soaking in a bathtub with Epson salts, but the dull ache and pressure would not go away. At about 9 p.m., he decided to visit the emergency department at Mercy Hospital Ardmore.
When he arrived, the care team got him to a room quickly and began running tests. Results from anelectrocardiogram (EKG) and an ultrasound looked normal, but the troponin levels in his blood were high and kept climbing during his hospitalization, signifying some type of heart damage.
Eades, of Ardmore, was still convinced he was just having gas pains until the next morning when the cardiologist told him that he had suffered a small heart attack.
“It took every day that I was there for them to convince me that I had a heart attack,” he said. “They explained everything to me, but I was in the denial stage because I’m 47, in good health and there’s no way that this could happen to me.”
Later that evening, doctors performed an angiogram, which uses X-ray imaging technology to see a patient’s blood vessels. The procedure revealed loose plaque lodged in his right coronary artery that caused the heart attack. Doctors removed the clot and placed a stent to help keep the artery open so blood can flow to and from the heart.
World-class Cardiac Care Close to Home
On Jan. 1, 2016, the Oklahoma Heart Hospital (OHH) began managing the cardiac program at Mercy Hospital Ardmore.
Since opening its first campus nearly 14 years ago in Oklahoma City, OHH has provided all of the cardiac services for patients who come to Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City and the results have been tremendous. OHH is a leader in patient satisfaction, quality, safety and technology in Oklahoma and across the nation.
Through the partnership, the co-workers who previously provided cardiac services at Mercy Hospital Ardmore continue to diagnose and treat a variety of cardiac conditions locally using state-of-the-art technology.
Since his heart attack a few months ago, Eades is healing and feeling better every day, thanks to the great care he received during his three-day hospital stay.
Recognizing the Warning Signs
About every 43 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack. The signs of a heart attack come in many forms — from sudden and intense pain like what’s seen on movies and television shows to more mild symptoms that start slowly.
Possible signs of a heart attack include discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back; discomfort in other areas of the upper body, including one or both arms, the neck, stomach, jaw or back; shortness of breath; nausea/vomiting; lightheadedness; and a cold sweat.
In women, heart disease often presents with more mild symptoms than the classic chest pains and shortness of breath, making it a silent killer. These mild yet serious symptoms may include extreme fatigue, an impending sense of doom and pain on the right side of the body (as opposed to the typical pain on the left side).
If you or a loved one experiences some of these symptoms, it is important to seek immediate medical care before it’s too late. Eades is glad he did.
“It was absolutely the right decision to go to the hospital and see the cardiologist at that time,” he said. “If your body is telling you that something is wrong, there’s probably something wrong. Doctors and nurses are specially trained to see and react to certain situations, but nobody knows what’s wrong with your body like you do.”