Jim Adam was raised with a love for cooking and food. This love of pizza, hot dogs and burgers was not only hereditary but an addiction. Though Jim didn’t exercise, he remarkably didn’t have high blood pressure or cholesterol.
Jim’s life changed on November 1, while out on a four mile walk with friends. “I had an intensive pain in my scapula and under my arm – no shortness of breath. I thought it was a pulled muscle. When I started to feel nauseous, I knew something was wrong. My friend suggested I put my arm in my shirt sleeve, and when I did, the pain went away. So I thought it was certainly a muscle issue,” said Jim. About a day later, Jim went to see Dr. Timothy Huston, his primary care physician, whom after taking his blood pressure, said “you need to go to the ED.”
At the Mission Hospital Emergency Department, Jim thought he would be prescribed muscle relaxers and then be sent home. The ED doctor, Dr. James Price, came back and said “Mr. Adam you had a heart attack.” Jim was shocked and then thought they were going to put a stent in and he’d go home. An angiogram came back showing four arteries that were closed and he was told he needed open-heart surgery. “That’s when it got real,” Jim said. “I asked myself ‘How did this happen?’ I knew how it happened – I was eating six hot dogs as a serving. All the signs were there.”
His wife Brenda, currently undergoing cancer treatment, coincidentally was also being seen at the hospital to ensure a blood clot wasn’t causing a swollen ankle that she was experiencing. When the care team learned that her husband was in the ED for a heart attack, they rushed her through for X-rays and an ultrasound so she could be by Jim’s side. “Mission Hospital was so good to me – they made sure I was taken care of too,” Brenda shared.
Caregivers admitted Jim to the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit. “I was anxious. It dawned on me at that moment – that I’m not afraid to die, but I wasn’t ready to leave. I have a wife and three kids – I can’t leave them….it’s too early.”
Dr. Sevak Darbinian, a surgeon, incredible nurses and the entire care team worked together to deliver the best care. “All of the incredible nurses were compassionate, caring and truly put us at ease during our entire stay,” Jim recalled. “I'll forever be grateful to my guardian angel caregiver Pat, for her ability to know what I needed before I even did. She'll forever be in my family.” Jim was discharged three days later. “I didn’t want to leave as I was fearful of going home since I wasn’t going to have nursing care.”
Two months post-surgery, Jim feels incredible, has lost 50 pounds and goes to cardiac rehab three days a week. “I just went golfing and walked the whole course at Talega. I’ve been blessed.”
Jim has replaced his food addiction with exercise and is making better food choices. “Mission Hospital treated us like we were family – with dignity, kindness and respect. We know that Mission Hospital is one of the best hospitals in the country and is right in our own backyard. If I’m hurt somewhere else in the country, fly me back to Mission!”
Read the latest issue of Mission Hospital Foundation’s newsletter, 2020 Gratitude Report
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