'Am I having a Heart Attack?'

Would you know if you were having a heart attack? Even if you were having classic symptoms, you might not necessarily think so. Sam Moore can tell you a little bit about that.

As the saying goes, that day in early November started out like any other day for the 61-year-old Moore. He was most of the way through his shift in the sporting goods and hardware departments at the Lakeside Walmart. He’d been feeling run down for a couple days and thought he might be coming down with a virus. All of a sudden, he started feeling a sharp chest pain, “like someone was shoving a dagger in my chest,” he says.

like someone was shoving a dagger in my chest

Still thinking he would be OK, he sat down to rest a few minutes, and then found his supervisor and told her he thought he should go home. All the while, he was thinking to himself: “Am I having a heart attack? Will I see my wife again? No, you’re going to be fine.”

But he wasn’t fine right then. His manager recognized it was urgent and called 911 and then his wife to meet him at Lutheran Medical Center. Moore doesn’t remember much of what happened that day, but he did hear the paramedics telling him that yes, he was having a heart attack. And he recalls a whole team of people waiting at the hospital to treat him right away.

Doctors immediately placed two stents in Moore’s arteries to ease the problem and he spent a couple of days in the hospital.

Moore didn’t have a family history or a serious risk factor for heart disease. Just a few weeks after his heart attack, the father of three and grandfather of five was in cardiac rehab, had made changes in his diet and was taking medications to manage his blood pressure.

“I can’t remember everything that happened [in the hospital],” Moore says. “I do recall that the nurses, CNAs and doctors were super nice and explained everything to me. The whole staff really cares for their patients. They also let me walk the halls a bit early on, which made the stay a lot easier.”