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Surviving the ‘Widowmaker’: An Inspiring Tale

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Surviving the ‘Widowmaker’: An Inspiring Tale

Before Dec. 30, 2023, Kevin Wilson, a resident of Fort Myers, showed no signs and had no symptoms of a heart condition (or any medical condition, for that matter). Yet, on Dec. 30, as he was playing pick-up basketball at McGregor Baptist, he had a heart attack and collapsed unconscious on the court.

Thankfully, fellow players—a registered nurse and a radiologist—were there to begin CPR and use the automated external defibrillator (AED) to revive his heart rhythm until EMS arrived. Paramedics stabilized Kevin and transported him to Gulf Coast Medical Center.

Cardiac catheterization revealed Kevin had five blocked coronary arteries, 4 of which were 90-100% blocked. A couple of days into the brand new yr, Kevin underwent quadruple coronary artery bypass grafting surgery. A couple of days after that, Kevin was discharged from HealthPark Medical Center. He was cleared a number of weeks later to begin cardiac rehabilitation.

About 805,000 people have a heart attack in the United States every year.

After he recovered, Kevin shared his story with us—you will have seen it in in case you receive Lee Health’s Healthy News email (https://tinyurl.com/HNWilson). In case you missed it, we created a brief video—go to youtube.com/watch?v=HXKj7acX94E—to share Kevin’s incredibly inspiring story of survival. The short video features Kevin and Michael DeFrain, M.D., FACS, his cardiothoracic surgeon from the Shipley Cardiothoracic Center.

As Lee Health’s president & CEO, I all the time appreciate the chance to share our patients’ stories. Sharing stories helps us connect and empathize with others and reminds us of the honour it’s to look after and serve others.

More Lee Health: Celebrating our nurses and hospital teams

And Lee Health: Thanks, volunteers

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