“Heart Attack Survival..with many Blessings,” by Dr. Paul Collins

collinsactsfestDSC_3223 (2)-Edit edit.png2

Heart Attack Survival..with many Blessings

Approximately one year ago, I had received a perfect report from my primary care physician following my yearly medical examination.  The following Sunday I preached (if I may so say) a very dynamic sermon at the Third Sunday Service of Acts Church at 2:00 in the afternoon.  Following the service (which ended about 4:00), I had a light evening meal, donned my pajamas and prepared for a relaxing time of watching television.  Then, the unthinkable happened. 

With no chest pain or shortness of breath, my jaws hurt.  I have an extremely high tolerance for pain, but this was nearly unbearable.  I knew what was happening.  I was having a heart attack.  How could this be?  I had an excellent report from my doctor, and I did not take any prescription drugs.  Nonetheless, it was happening.  I quickly changed from pajamas into street clothes, told my wife (Nancy) what was happening, chewed a full power aspirin, and we headed for the nearest emergency room which happened to be at Cox South in Springfield, Missouri, about two miles from our home.

When we arrived at the ER I was privileged to gain immediate admission.  My blood pressure (always very normal) was 283 over 108.  A dangerous situation, indeed.  Through a series of tests, they determined my “widow maker artery” was 99.9 % clogged.  God was with me.  I survived to receive a stent to relieve the blockage of the blood flow to my heart.

Yes, I could easily have died.  God had another idea.  I had just had the privilege of experiencing something that has affected multitude of families.  Never again would I take things for granted concerning my health … or the health of my family and friends.

After four weeks, I was allowed to begin the cardio rehab program.  After the first session, the same symptoms returned.  The nurse in charge immediately called for a wheelchair, contacted my cardiologist who was just one floor above us in the cardio area, and personally delivered me upstairs.  Yes, another stent.  This artery was ONLY 70% clogged.

After another four weeks, I was allowed to continue the rehab program.  I am still engaged in that exercise program every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning.

In addition to the exercise, I have been a vegan for the past year.  That means I never eat anything with a face or a mother or their products.  I do not eat meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, any added oil, and no added salt.  I have lost about 40 pounds and four inches of waistline.  I do not grow hungry.  The menu is varied, very diverse, an adventure in eating, and satisfying.

I have to close for this episode.  Please stay tuned for more articles on this new lifestyle that has me vigorous at age 81 in my service for Jesus Christ.