Health Plus: Eastern Iowa man has heart attack in hotel - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Eastern Iowa man has heart attack in hotel


Heart attacks never happen when it's convenient.

For one eastern Iowan, he was traveling back to Iowa from Florida when something happened overnight in a hotel room.

Here's Health Plus with his story.

Retired high school science teacher Gary Cederlund was far from his hometown of Waterloo when chest pain hit.

"Coming home from Florida we'd been down there for 6 weeks and spent the night in Clarksville, Tennessee. About 3 o'clock in the morning I had a pain in my chest," he recalled.

The 65-year-old took his wife's advice and in the middle of the night they headed for the nearest hospital.

Repeated tests showed Gary had a heart attack but no surgical intervention was necessary.

"The only thing they can attribute it to is number one it's a gift from my parents. My parents had heart problems," he said.

Cardiac Rehabilitation at Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo has helped him cope with an unexpected health challenge.

"Exercising, teaching, helping them to modify their risk factors--whether if they smoke, they need to quit smoking. If they have high blood pressure, they need to keep it well-controlled. If they have an elevated cholesterol level they need to keep that maintained within the normal limits," said Bridget Kuennen, a cardiac rehabilitation Registered Nurse.

June is Men's Health Month, a reminder to pay attention and take action when something doesn't feel right.

"There's not really that typical chest pain that people have. It's more of a vague chest pressure, tightness or ache or any vague symptom that doesn't go away that they need to seek medical attention for," said Kuennen.

For Gary, life is returning to normal--with some adjustments.

"I guess it's gonna change my thinking on how hard I wanna push when I do certain things. Whether it's mowing the lawn or playing golf or riding on a 25 or 50 mile-an-hour bike, not mile-per-hour, distance bike ride," he said.

By the way, Gary retired from Waterloo West High School in 2009.


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