Wow. Friend (38) has heart attack, nearly dies about a month ago. Back to work and looks great.


Close friend of mine didn’t show up to work a few weeks ago. CEO calls an emergency meeting first thing that morning and says “Guy is out. Hospital. Can’t say any more. He’ll be out 2-4 weeks minimum.” Come to find out - my friend had a heart attack.

He’s only 38, in good shape. Doesn’t smoke, drinks only once in a while. His family health history is terrible, but I guess we all (and he) thought he’d be OK since he’s always been health conscious.

Turns out: I had a meeting with him the day it happened. Completely fine. After work, friend goes to work out at the health club. Just the treadmill. Nothing out of the ordinary. He works out and goes home. On returning home - sudden, immediate, incredible crushing chest pain. Doctors tell him he must have ruptured an artery during the workout, it clotted, and the clot went straight to his heart. Fortunately my boy is knowledgeable and his wife used to be a PA so they called 911 right away. Doubly lucky, he lives close to a hospital. They get him there in time. His heart actually stops completely a few times (dunno if this is in the ambulance or at the hospital.) “Yeah, they had the EKG on me. I could see it. Saw it go beep…beep…boooooooooooooooo a few times. They shocked me every time. I didn’t like that, it hurt.”

…Jesus, dude. You were conscious the whole time and saw yourself flatline?! :eek: According to him: “Actually, I was surprisingly calm. Just kinda thought, ‘Well, this is it.’” Did you have a NDE? “No, I was there the whole time.”

Anyways, they were able to do an angioplasty or whatever (IANAD), clear the clot, and keep him alive. Put in a couple of stents. Didn’t have to open him up fully, they went in through the groin. Here’s to modern medicine!

…and he’s already back at work. And looks good, and healthy. My God, what a scare for him, his family and all of us. He mostly is just embarrassed (though he shouldn’t be) about having a heart attack so young. We’ve all been trying to convince him - we don’t care about that, we’re just so happy he’s still with us. But man…scary stuff. He’s got 3 little kids, he hasn’t even told them what happened (I don’t blame him.)

So glad my friend is still with us! :slight_smile:

You can see yourself flatline? I had no idea.

Glad he’s ok.

I’m glad he’s doing well. My dad had a major heart attack in his late 30’s. Eventually there was a multiple bypass in his 40’s. He lived to almost 60, when something else took him down.

I knew a guy who had some kind of sticky platelet condition. He was a serious fitness enthusiastic in spite of, or perhaps because of that, but still had periodic heart attacks beginning in his mid-30s. Scary stuff.

My dad had a heart attack in his mid 50’s and spend about a month in the hospital. One of my sisters suffered a small stroke in her early 50’s, started taking blood thinners and retired early.

My 47-yr-old husband had sudden cardiac arrest in September. He spent a day in a medically induced hypothermic coma, was brought back out of it, stayed in the hospital for 11 days and went back to work the following Monday, two weeks to the day since the SCA.

Theoretically, although you’d be unconscious in 3-5 seconds. Also flatline (asystole) isn’t a shockable rhythm and would be uncommon after a heart attack that didn’t end in death. Most likely he had ventricular tachycardia which is more common after a heart attack, would need a shock and may not lead to unconsciousness in some cases.
I’m glad the OPs friend is doing well. We’ve come a long way since nitroglycerin and a pat on the back.

After a week or two back at work said friend has been out all week thus far. He’s communicating, even doing some work. I’ve spoken, texted and emailed with him.

He’s a fairly private guy, so all he’ll tell me is “I’m not responding well to the medication I’m on. GI issues. Spent a night in the hospital after getting a CT scan to see if I had internal bleeding. Been feeling lousy.”

Anyone have an idea what’s going on? AFAIK, he’s on blood thinners, cholesterol drugs and beta blockers. Guy hates to share personal data and I’m not looking for a doctor or a proper diagnosis, just wondering what might be ailing him. He has been fairly normal in all communications and I asked him straight out, “Do you think it’s your heart?” and he said no.

So…just med troubles?

My husband had his first heart attack at 31. During the next 11 years, he had 3 more heart attacks, 10 stents, and quadruple bypass surgery. He was like your friend, though. He seemed so healthy. He was always back to work within days. When he left the hospital from his bypass surgery, he stopped by our shop to make sure things were ok. He was always very fit, active and healthy looking. At 42, his heart just gave out. He died within minutes. Sorry to be a downer. :frowning:

Yes unfortunate some people have so much heart disease, perhaps there was an underlying cause for that ?

But other people just have the random artery or valve fault thing.

My cousin had a heart attack last month - the underlying cause is that she has an artery disease that is also closing off the arteries in her legs.

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but I didn’t think they meant literally.

My brother had his first episode at 38 also. One stent, intubated, etc., and all together about a month in and out of the hospital. (Part of it was going off other meds and having severe panic that put him back in the hospital for a while.) They also found he was diabetic. He blamed his “lifestyle” meaning he used to drink and drug a lot, but some of it runs in the family anyway.

Then in his early 40s he had another episode and had to have two more stents put in. So far so good but I can’t imagine that’s the end of it.

Yes, I agree. I certainly didn’t mean to say that would be the case for the OP’s friend. My husband also had arterial disease, like your cousin. 2 of his stents were to open up blood flow to his legs. We never really knew what caused all his problems, but there must have been some underlying problem of some sort.

Sometimes, no matter how healthy you eat, exercise, take care of yourself the genes mug you in the middle of the night (or even the afternoon).

There are certain types of gene variations that predispose you to early heart disease no matter what you do. We’ve got one in my family that used to result in half the adults dropping dead in their 40’s, if not sooner.

The good news is that you can find out about those BEFORE the first heart attack these days. Especially if you know your family history and know there’s one of these things floating around in it.

The bad news is that diet and exercise won’t fix the problem. You need to do other things, like medication or surgery. However, proper diet and exercise will make your body better able to cope with those other medical procedures so it’s still worthwhile.

At some point, your friend needs to tell his kids about his early heart attack, and the cause, if it’s known. That might help them avoid an early heart attack themselves.

That’s the train I get to stare down. Every male on my dad’s side of the family for at least the last 4 generations, regardless of lifestyle, has had a clotting disorder of some kind resulting in a heart attack or stroke before 50. I’m 46. Tick tock, tick tock. Upside is we tend to get our affairs in order at a fairly young age. :wink:

IANA Doctor but it sounds like the situation I had. Blood thinners can mess up you digestion and Beta Blockers slow down your heart. My guess is he had trouble with his rhythm.

In my case the beta blockers were a problem. At rest I was fine and extended exertion was OK. But that short period from inactivity to full exertion made me feel like hell. Three months after my angioplasty I could do a 45 minute workout on an eliptical trainer but it took me 15minutes of that workout just to slowly get to speed. I finally had to have a second procedure called an ablation were the surgeon burned some nerves on the inside of my heart. After that my rhythm problems gradually improved and I was able to cut out heavy doses of beta blockers.

Like your friend I’ve had two heart procedures and luckily never had my chest cracked open. The angioplasty was via an artery in my arm and the ablation was via the groin.

You need to pick your parents very well to avoid a lot of heart problems. But even that isn’t a guarantee. Same goes for exercise and healthy eating.

I had a heart attack at the tender age of 46 YO. No family history of heart problems. My diet was pretty good. I average about an hour of aerobic exercise a day. Heck I was exercising when the heart attack happened! I was doing a max, 100% effort at the time so basically I was doing an unsupervised, unscientific stress test on myself.

In my case it was a tiny artery that clogged up. They can’t even get a stent to it. I was out of the hospital in 3 days and back to work in 4 days. I’m still exercising and even did the same thing that I was doing when I had my heart attack, but at less intensity, 3 months later.

One thing that aerobic exercise will do is help you survive and recover from a heart attack. Evidently I had enough co-lateral circulation that I didn’t notice the problem until the max effort.