Husband. Father. Retired Marine. Heart attack survivor.
I'm Jim Sprecher and I'm a surviving heart patient at Memorial hospital.
An unexpected Sunday morning.
It goes back about a year and a couple months ago. Back in June, I woke up and it was a Sunday morning. I walked into the kitchen and I told my wife to dial 911 and dropped dead of a heart attack.
Memorial saved my life.
When I was brought to Memorial hospital after my heart attack at home, I was taken into the emergency room's intensive care. I was flat lined at that point where they had to defibrillate me. They got a heartbeat re-established and I was taken immediately to the cath center for a stent. A stent was placed in my heart because one of the arteries had been blocked. At that point they had taken me into ICU. I was in ICU for approximately three days as they monitored my vitals and got me stronger. After the three days, they woke me up and that's when they asked me where I was, but I had no clue. It took them a while to convince me that I had a heart attack, but I was at Memorial hospital which I was glad about because I felt this was the best place to be if you're gonna have a heart attack.
A graduate of Memorial's Wellness and Rehabilitation Center.
Once I was released from the hospital - less than a week - I went home to recover. A week later, the Wellness and Rehabilitation Center called and told me that they work with heart patients in rehabilitation to get us back to where we were before the heart attack happened. They asked when I wanted to come in for an interview and if I'd be interested in rehab and I said, "absolutely."
Memorial provided the education I needed.
There was an education process not only as far as the physical attributes that you would get from working out, but also the diet. Diet is crucial in taking care of our bodies and I didn't know that as extensively as they taught here. They go through an hour class everyday and then it was an hour work out.
A complete lifestyle change.
My habits changed completely. I quit smoking a year and a half ago, I eat completely different and I work out 5 days a week, every week. I feel really crappy if I don't work out. So it's become part of my life. I feel a lot healthier and I'm able to do almost anything I couldn't do before.
A true gift.
The biggest gift that I got from Memorial's Wellness Center was the education - how to take care of myself better, how to understand the symptoms that your body tells us in the event of another heart attack and how not to be afraid, but to take action. They gave me the confidence to continue a normal life without worrying about that.
The right place to be.
They asked me once I graduated from the class, how long I was going to continue working out here at the heart center. I said, "until they close doors." I feel confident that this is the place to be.