KK: Did you tell them that you had some indigestion and you needed Tums?
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 35 – No 02 – February 2016
BS: Yes, I told them that I needed Tums before I signed something that said I received the Tums.
KK: So you’re receiving Tums, and in no way did you or anyone else feel like you had a heart condition that day?
BS: No way at all. I did speak with my oldest son, Michael, who was there with me, and I told him it was really stronger than I’ve ever experienced and a little bit higher. It was above the breast plate on the top part of the plate, and it went from one side all the way to the other. My normal heartburn would be mostly on the right side only. About nine years ago, I’d actually had enough of it that I went in and had a stress test. The stress test showed nothing at all.
KK: Bill, it’s human nature to explain away important symptoms because we don’t want anything bad to be happening. What led you to the point of saying, “Despite the fact that this is entirely different than anything I’ve experienced before, I’m going to decide that this is indigestion”?
BS: I actually never entertained that it was a heart issue at all. I’m sure if I had been home with my wife and told her what I had, she would have mentioned it. Every time I got indigestion, she said, “Are you sure it’s not your heart?” and I’d say, “Yeah, it’s the same as I always have. I’ll go take some medicine, and it’ll be done.”
KK: Did you just wake up at the hospital, or did your condition get worse and did you have other symptoms?
BS: I was watching the game. I was feeling my chest, and it was hurting. I was thinking that I was ready to go home, but let’s see how much time is left in the game. I looked up to the scoreboard, and I think it was 5:41. Almost immediately after noticing that, I began getting really lightheaded and dizzy. The next thing I knew, I woke up in the emergency room, and somebody was jamming something down my throat.
Bill just didn’t look right. At the time, he wasn’t unconscious, but I noticed that Bill’s son was speaking with him, and he wasn’t really responding….Then, about three to four seconds later, I looked back to Bill, and I saw him take an unusual agonal breath, and that’s when I knew what was going on there. —Sujal Mandavia, MD, FACEP
KK: Tell me, Sujal, how you were aware of this? Did you have to move the hot dog and popcorn vendors out of the way? How did this play out?