Quick Action During Heart Attack Saved His Life

Cardiac Patient Pastor Mark Mitchell

Pastor Mark Mitchell, 51, of the First Baptist Church of Denison, Texas, was at work one morning in February 2013 when he began to experience what he thought was acid reflux or a stomach issue. But, it was really a heart attack. “I was sick at my stomach, with pains in my chest, and eventually got sick, passed out and was sweating profusely. It all began about 10:15 a.m," he says.

“I began receiving attention the moment I spoke with the admissions clerk at Texoma Medical Center. They took me for an EKG immediately." Pastor Mitchell was moved to a room minutes after the EKG was seen.

Responsive TMC Staff 

"In a very short time following that I had a physician and five or six others surrounding me and they began preparations for a heart cath," Mitchell says. Winston Marshall, MD, FACC informed Pastor Mitchell what would be taking place. Mitchell says that "within a very short time of being there I was on my way for the heart cath. I do not know what could have been done to address my issues in a better way. They were fast, polite, calming … and good!"

Mitchell believes that he "may not have known that I was in the right place until after I awoke from the heart cath in the ICU. I knew in the ER that I was getting prompt attention. However, it was after I awoke that I realized I was getting awesome care. In the ER I was not aware that my condition was so serious. I had a 95 percent blockage and an 80 percent blockage. I had not met Dr. Marshall previously, but am incredibly thankful that he was the doctor on-call. He treated my family with patience and respect. His knowledge and skills, coupled with TMC’s facilities, likely saved my life that day."

Because of the TMC staff’s immediate access to the cath lab, the procedure could be performed right away. Pastor Mitchell believes that played significantly into his outcome. "Without the procedure being done quickly, I might not be here today."

“The support from the physicians and staff was amazing. After the heart cath, my family was surrounded by probably 30 friends. Dr. Marshall took the time to carefully explain everything to my family (wife and 3 kids), as well as any questions from the others! He was patient with them, polite and thorough," he says.

Cardiac Rehab Assists With Recovery 

Cardiac rehabilitation was first suggested by Dr. Marshall and then strongly encouraged by my wife and daughters! I did not think I needed to do rehab there. However, looking back, I know that I was a bit fearful to begin doing cardio exercises." Mitchell maintains that rehabilitation was a great decision, saying "heart monitors and close supervision really brought me a lot of peace as I began working out again."

The peace of mind Pastor Mitchell received was the most helpful aspect as he began working out again. "The encouragement from the staff to increase my workout intensity as I got stronger helped me push myself. There is some fear involved in getting the heart rate up after a heart attack. And so being supervised and given the assurance that I was doing okay really helped me increase intensity and also the length of my workout."

Today, Pastor Mitchell is doing terrific and has had no issues whatsoever.

“TMC has incredible doctors and great facilities! I would let my family and friends know that there is not a single thing I would change about my experience there! My treatment was exceptional in every regard," Mitchell says, stating that there is no place he would rather have been when facing one of the most serious experiences of his life.

Mitchell says he had no issue throughout the process. "From the ER to cardiac rehab, I was treated incredibly. From the first five minutes in the emergency room to my last rehab appointment, it was terrific. That day could have been much different for me years ago.”

Learn how Texoma's Heart Institute treats heart attacks and other heart conditions >

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