When a typical day turns almost deadly
Chandler resident Keith Walton walks five miles, runs two or three miles, and lifts weights three times a week. Impressive for a man who just months earlier nearly lost his life to a heart attack.
It started on a typical day. Keith went to work, did his work out, went to the grocery store and fixed the family meal before finally sitting down to watch football. As the post-game reports wound down, so did Keith, who headed to his room to watch a bit of ESPN before calling it a night.
“I lay down in my bed and suddenly began to feel what I call a slight discomfort in the middle of my chest,” he recalls.
The feeling wasn’t completely new. Keith had experienced it perhaps three times a year. Thinking it was heartburn, he typically would take an antacid and the discomfort would subside.
But on this night, the antacid didn’t work.
“I began walking around my house and then outside in my front yard to attempt to bring relief,” says Keith, who after about 15 to 20 minutes decided to wake his son, pack a small bag of close and head to the emergency room at Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center.
Why Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center? Ironically the week prior, Keith had spoken with an old friend who had been in a life-threatening accident in his back yard and had told his daughter to take him to Osborn Medical Center because it was one of the top trauma hospitals in Arizona.
“I remembered our conversation when I begin having my discomfort and made the decision to drive myself to Osborn Medical Center because of that conversation,” says Keith.
He and his some thankfully arrived safely. Within minutes of being hooked up to monitoring devices, Keith heard a member of the medical team say that he was having a heart attack.
“I’m certain I was the most shocked person in that room when I heard that sentence,” he says. “For a second I thought they must be talking about someone in the next room over. Very quickly after this I passed out and believe coded for a significant amount of time.”
The next thing Keith new, it was the next morning and hospital staff members were explaining that he’d undergone a 4.5 hour by-pass surgery and was lucky to be alive. The surgery was performed by Dr. Robert Riley. “Dr. Riley told me that had I arrived five minutes later, they may not have been able to save me,” says Keith gratefully.
Hospitalized for four days, he recalls that his nurses were “amazing.” Keith was given daily goals such as walking, sitting in a chair, blowing into a breathing tool and taking a shower.
“Dr. Riley, his physician’s assistant Andrew, and cardiologist, Dr. Berkley Bennesson, played a big part in my confidence that I was getting better. They would tell me the activities they heard I was accomplishing during the days and evenings were good indicators that I was closer to going home,” says Keith.
Once home, Keith could feel “slight improvements almost on a daily basis.” “I’ve come a long way and feel great,” says Keith. “I want to personally thank Dr. Riley and Dr. Bennesson again for all of their hard work on me.”
- Contact Us
For more information on any of our
heart & vascular programs,
contact us at:
or call 480-323-3663