Green Bay, Wisconsin (WFRV) Heart disease is the nation's number one killer, claiming more lives than all forms of cancer combined.
And a heart attack can happen even when a person doesn't have a history of heart disease.
Sixty-five year old Dave Mariucci is an active outdoorsman and had no previous heart history.
Three months ago he went to the gym to work out, mowed the lawn and then was playing with his grandkids, when suddenly he couldn't catch his breath.
"It just felt like I had to cough and I was starting to perspire," explained Dave Mariucci.
Dave didn't have any chest pain or arm numbness. His wife, a registered nurse, knew something was wrong so they went to urgent care.
"They acted quickly over there. They did an ECG which showed a heart attack. They actually had to shock him for an abnormal rhythm over there," explained Dr. Matthew Schmidt, Cardiologist, Aurora BayCare Medical Center.
So Dave was rushed to Aurora BayCare Medical Center.
"The three major arteries of his heart, the one that runs down the front of his heart we completely blocked," said Dr. Schmidt.
The cause was a blood clot
"They rupture a plaque in the artery, a cholesterol plaque, and that forms a clot. And depending on how severe that clot is how they present. In this case the artery is completely blocked," explained Dr. Schmidt.
Dr. Matthew Schmidt inserted a stent to open up the artery and clear the blockage, "We did a cath right away. he had an occluded artery which we opened up and he did great," explained Dr. Schmidt
Dr. Schmidt says Dave is lucky he went in right away.
"If he had not been seen with these abnormal rhythms, he probably would not have woken up," said Dr. Schmidt.
Dave had minimal damage and is now in cardiac rehab and feeling great but he is still recuperating.
Dr. Schmidt says there a few signs of a blood clot blocking an artery, like discomfort and shortness of breath. But in some cases people don't have any symptoms.
So his advice, keep your heart healthy, eat right, exercise and don't smoke.
To learn more you can call Aurora BayCare at 866-938-0035 or email firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com