Bruce Adkins, West Virginia

OK… I had lost 30 pounds, was walking, exercising daily, and was getting fitter…  I had even just been to Alaska and done a mountain hike the week prior, and attended a Cincinnati Reds game with my family (and walked several miles just 3 days before on my 59th birthday)!! 


But on May 24th, 2012, while attending a regional playoff, high school baseball game, I began having nausea and abdominal pain.  I shrugged this off as “eating something bad” earlier in the day, but the severe nausea didn’t go away.  I really didn’t have “typical symptoms” of a heart attack.

I was in good shape, was not obese, and recent lab work and annual physical didn’t point to any cardiovascular issues. I do have a strong family history of heart disease. With my symptoms actually getting a little worse, I chose to drive home from the game (at this point I really wasn’t considering calling 911 or going to the hospital).  But… on the way home I became more ill and started having some diaphoresis and left shoulder chest pain.  GOSH, I thought, this COULD be my heart!? 

So, after chewing and swallowing 3 aspirin (happened to have these in the car) and being just about 5-6 minutes away, I chose to drive myself to the local cardiac hospital.  After some excitement in the ER, I was rushed to the cath lab where my Right Coronary Artery was found to be 90 percent occluded and in severe spasm. I became the proud owner of a 30 mm RCA stent!!

This past Spring I participated in my first Heart Walk with many new friends and family!  I am blessed (and lucky) to have completed cardiac rehabilitation and continue regular cardio to maintain health and stamina. I just celebrated my 60th birthday, and will be at my granddaughters 2nd birthday next month… and planning for many more celebrations! 

My story is another one about doing many things wrong and still surviving. I hope with education and continued advances in medicine, more people will survive and live long, wonderful lives!

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