Today Please meet Mark Humble.
In the spirit of Heart Month, I am sharing stories of fellow Heart Attack Survivors that I have met through The Under 55 Heart Attack Survivors Group on Facebook. Everyone has a story and I hope you will take a read and help us create awareness of the #1 Killer in North America.
My name is Mark Humble, I’m 52 years old from Bloomington Illinois.
My story begins on November 30, 2014, just another Sunday.
My wife and I woke up, went to breakfast, then came home to finish preparing for a harsh winter.
I had just put a new seal on the bottom of our garage door when I started feeling strange…tightness in my chest then down hill quickly. Within a minute I had severe chest pain, nausea, sweating like crazy @ 34 degrees outside, then the pain shot down my left arm. I knew what was going on, and I yelled for my wife. I said ,”Heidi I need some aspirin!” she said, “You have a head ache? you want some Tylenol?” “No Baby I think I’m having a heart attack.” She got the aspirin and off to the hospital. Cardiac Cath was performed and minimal buildup of less than 50% found. Medicine prescribed and sent home December 2.
I felt pretty drained and weak for the next few weeks but was told it was from the meds and HA.
Three weeks later…December 22, I was at work. 8:00am started feeling bad. I knew again what was going on…this was much worse! Same symptoms as before, but this time I couldn’t breathe. I yelled for a co worker and told him I was having another HA. He rushed me to the ER which was only 3 minutes away.
Got to the hospital and collapsed into a wheel chair…V-fib…thankfully after I coded three times they were able to stabilize my condition thru shock and resuscitation.
Immediate Cardiac Cath again, again no damage and less than 50% buildup in my LAD. This time my EF (ejection fraction) was 35. Next day my numbers were getting better. Doc said he’s adjusting my meds and sending me home because he couldn’t find anything wrong with me. What? huh? nothing wrong? Something has got to be wrong!!! I was scared beyond words.
I expressed my concerns to my nurses and told them I felt I couldn’t / shouldn’t go home without knowing. Several hours later Nurse Jill comes in and hands me a brochure for the Zoll Life Vest. She said she got one approved for me to wear home. For those who don’t know, the Life Vest is an external defibrillator that is fully automatic. No outside intervention is needed. This gave me a feeling of hope that I would be OK if I went home on the 24th. By the way, I named my life vest… ‘Hope’.
24 hours later…Christmas Day: Went to my in-laws for Christmas dinner. Everyone was filling their plates and bellies when I started feeling bad. I looked at my wife and said, “Heidi, it’s happening again!” Same symptoms, except breathing not an issue this time. I sat down at the dinner table as she called 911. I popped a nitro pill, and said to Heidi, “I’m going out!” Down I went..V-fib… My wife was trained on the vest, so she knew to have everyone stay away and let ‘Hope’ do her thing; and she did. Blam!! Single treatment shock brought me back after about 30 seconds. (I’m sure that’s a Christmas dinner Heidi’s family will never forget).
It took 7 more minutes for the ambulance to arrive. If it weren’t for God, my wonderful wife, and the Zoll Life Vest, I wouldn’t be here today.
This time a new Cardiologist. Cardiac Cath #3. Placed stent into that “less than 50% buildup”. After two days in our local hospital (OSF St. Josephs) they transferred me to St Francis Peoria and ran every test imaginable. All tests negative. 🙁 scheduled and installed an ICD the next day,(I’ve named my ICD ‘Faith’.) I was sent home on the 30th. Now I wait….
The thing I fear most is the unknown. Still to this day we have no idea what happened.
Most important things for me now., God, My wonderful wife, and my family!
Just started Cardiac Rehab last week, 1/30
I’m not to the new dreams stage yet, I cant. Someday I will, but right now it’s one day at a time.
If I could go back in time; I would never have smoked, and I would have spent every day with my kids.
I have never been consumed by anything this intense. It’s almost impossible to do anything without being aware of every little thing. People say it gets better with time; I hope their right.
What do I want more of in life? Time…My wife and I have a lot of living to do yet. I need and want to be here for her, my kids, and my 3 grand kids.
What makes me great? The people in my life; especially my wife. Without those folks I’d be nothing!
Healthy folks…Do your best to stay that way. and live everyday to the fullest. You never know when….well…