Pease have a plan.


5 year old buck +
Well, I am back.

As most of my friends know, I had a heart attack while on vacation. Deer hunting can be very nerve wracking. :)

Thank all of you for your prayers and well wishes. I especially want to thank all the people in East and West Finley Twp. who helped get me the medical attention I needed at the time. They really were fantastic. Thanks to the personnel and medical staff at Washington Hospital. They made the best of dealing with a cranky deer hunter.

It is very hard to believe that less than a week ago I had a heart attack, in a treestand, 2.5 miles from my car, 3/4 of a mile from any help and 16 feet in the air.

I would like to alert those of you that are active that heart attacks don't always feel like we think they do. It is not necessarily the chest grabbing, gut wrenching pain we see on TV. Mines was just a very "wrong" feeling. I know that doesn't help some, but I just felt "strange". I had just climbed into my stand for the day. I sat down and un-zipped my heavy clothing to cool down a bit. I had not been there 5 minutes. I just suddenly felt weird. I was light headed, slightly dizzy and a little disoriented. When my hands and feet began to tingle, I knew something wasn't right. My first thoughts were to get the hell out of the treestand without falling. I calmed myself down and managed to get to the ground but had to sit on a stump for about 10 minutes to regain my composure. Then I tried to walk the 100 yards to get to my ATV. I made it about half way and had to lay against a large log to rest. I couldn't move any further. After about 10 more minutes I got up and got to the ride. The only problem was that the trail I had come in on is the worst and most difficult trail on the property. It is straight up and straight down and in poor condition. A really fun ride when you are healthy. Not so last Tuesday. I had to go about 3/4 of a mile to get to my hunting partner. Half way down that very steep hill, the front right tire lost most of it's air. This made steering the ATV very difficult, but I managed. I then had to climb a hill to get to Dave's stand. If I had been able to breath, I could have yelled for him but as it was I could barely talk by this time. I drove to his stand and told him he needed to get me to a hospital NOW. The only problem was that we were about 2.5 miles from our cars. So, I took off for the cars and Dave ran about 300 yards to his ATV and followed. By the way, we both left a lot of very expensive equipment hanging in our stands. We didn't have time to grab anything. Dave recovered all our gear the next morning.

After we got to the car we decided Washington Hospital was the closest cardiac unit. I was still convinced it was a lung problem as I have COPD which I have been under Drs care for about 8 years. Dave wasn't so sure. Because I wasn't feeling any better now that I could sit back and rest, we decided to stop at the East Finley Twp. road maintenance facility that was only about 3 miles away. We had to drive past it anyways, so we figured more help might come in handy. The 3 or 4 guys, I really can't remember, jumped on it and got EMS coming from East and West Finley in seconds. Someone also called Washington and had them dispatch an ambulance. As it turns out, stopping for help probably saved my life. Within 25 minutes, I had three ambulances, EMS, Paramedics and all kinds of support personnel doing their jobs so efficiently the I was well on my way to the hospital. It seemed like it took hours, to me, but I was in the ambulance with IV's started in 17 minutes from the first phone call.

By the time we got to the hospital, The Paramedics. had sent an EKG to the ER. They had already determined I was in the middle of a serious heart attack. I spent about 4 minutes in the ER and they literally ran me up to the cardiac unit. They had Dr. Campsey was already waiting with a team. They did the cardiac cath, determined that I had 100% blockage in one artery and then installed a stent in less time than it took to write this post. Recovery was very good and I was released on Friday. That is amazing to me. I still don't feel like I had a heart attack. It is almost a surreal experience, but my wife keeps reminding me that I was within minutes of dying. IT DID NOT FEEL LIKE ANYTHING I EXPECTED. Please keep this in mind. Many of my friends are my age and probably have the same thoughts I did. If it feels "wrong" see a Dr. immediately. Nobody knows your body as well as you do.

AS Dave keeps telling me, "All's well that ends well." Already planning next years hunting trip to PA.
Holy crap man!

Awesome to hear you are doing well!
Glad your okay!
WOW that's some huntin story. I'm glad you made it ok.
scares the shit out of me man! I'm only 35, but this is the kind of thing that really freaks me out! glad to hear you are okay though!
Amazing story, I'm glad to hear you are ok now.
Glad you are here to relay your message.
Glad you kept your head and made it thru it all. Quite a story.....thank you for sharing it. Glad your with us. :)
Question. No cell phone to call 911 or your buddy?
This may seem weird in today's society, but I do not own a cell phone. Have never really had a need for one. I survived 65 years without one and think they are dangerous. I've had three friends die in accidents caused by people on cell phones. I know it sounds strange, but Those are the facts. We have tried radios several times but they have been hit or miss. Dave and I are about the same age and if one of us isn't feeling well, we will hunt nearby. We've been doing that for the better part of 55 years. Prior to climbing up in the stand, I had absolutely no indications that anything was wrong.
Jack, I have no problems with you not having a phone. It just struck me as stange as I have had one for a long, long time. I go back to when they were "bag phones" and my roaming charges were $1800.....PER MONTH.

I don't carry one all the time either.....but seems more and more it's become a norm for me.

Anyway.....glad you made it.....and thanks again for sharing. Oftentimes wonder about this stuff.....cause none of us are getting any younger.
Glad you're ok. The title of your thread says it all and it sounds like your level head saved your life. I've worried about my dad not coming home from the stand since I was 8 yrs old and now we hunt in sight of each other.
Close call. Glad you made it.
I remember it used to be we all worried about the "old" folks when we were out hunting. Just today, I read where a local guy died of a sudden heart attack at the age of 30. I never even thought about me and a heart attack in the same breath. "That only happens to those out of shape guys." We have decided to get better radios and small air horns to carry next season.
One of my buddies is a couple years younger than me (he's 36ish), and he's already had a mild heart attack. Same type of situation - just didn't feel well, went in and they discovered it. My dad ended up going down on a stress test, had a stent implanted the next day when he was around 55. This stuff is no joke.

Very thankful you're still with us Jack. That's quite the story! :)
Gotta take care of yourself. I hope you will improve your lifestyle: smoking, nutrition, weight reduction, Exercise that your weakened heart will tolerate.
Cardiovascular disease is becoming an epidemic because people don't take care of themselves. It isn't just cardio, type 2 diabetes, cancers, arthritis, it goes on.
Hope you recover, and get healthier.
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Sorry to hear of your ordeal.....Glad to read about you telling your story. Good Luck with your recovery.
Glad you are ok. Way to keep fighting! Had you remained stopped at the stump or log you rested at, who knows.....
Glad to hear you are ok, your lucky to hunt with a buddy
Thanks for sharing. A good reminder for all of us.

Safety HAS to be high on the list of things we consider when entering the field.

Your story is a good reminder to everyone. I would suggest going to walmart and buying a trak phone. You don't even have to turn it on, unless you need it :)