Health Plus: Unlikely heart attack patient - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Unlikely heart attack patient

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

A heart attack can strike when you least expect it.

That's what happened to an eastern Iowan who thought he was in great physical shape.

In Health Plus, why not waiting to see a doctor was a move that saved his life.

He's a 44-year-old married father of three who, up until this past May, thought he was in great physical shape.

"I don't eat junk food. I don't smoke, don't drink. You know, I try to do everything that you're supposed to do to be healthy," said Dr. Reed Pryor.

But the extreme fitness fanatic had an extreme problem in his chest, he was having a heart attack that left him short of breath.

A call to a neighbor led to paramedics coming to his house--and a quick trip to Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo.

"Within five minutes of arriving in the ED, his heart stopped and he had to be shocked, put on a breathing tube and then of course the heart attack was diagnosed and we brought him and opened his artery and everything resolved after the artery was open and we got a stent in the artery to restore the blood flow. Fortunately, the other arteries were fine and his heart function is back to normal," said Dr. Richard Valente, Covenant cardiologist.

Cardiologists say calling 911 can make a critical difference.

"If he waited at home he probably wouldn't be here today because waiting at home if his heat had stopped at home before the neighbor came he wouldn't have had any opportunity to call 911 and ambulance anything because he wouldn't have been conscious," said Dr. Valente.

As for reed, he says his experience has changed others' perceptions.

"The one thing that I've noticed with most of the people that come up to me, and they all say the same thing, 'if this can happen to you we are all in jeopardy of having this happen to us as well," he said.

By the way, Dr. Reed Pryor is a longtime Waterloo chiropractor.

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