The Great Smoky Mountain Journal

Staff Reports

Posted: Monday, January 01, 2018 12:26 PM

Cardiac Arrest Symptoms Don't Need To Be Ignored

 Cardiac arrest could be life threatening. This can happen to anyone, even if you're healthy.

"I didn't see this coming," said cardiac arrest survivor Richard Kendrick. "You can think that everything is great, feel good on the outside, and still something can happen that you're unaware of and can take that away from you, so I try to treat life now that every moment is important and special."

Cardiac arrest is a dangerous condition that can sneak up on those who haven't even noticed the signs.

"Often times the folks that do survive, they have had symptoms and they ignored, such as heartburn or a pulled muscle or whatever the case, don't ignore symptoms, talk to your doctor," said Johnathan Dalton, Parkwest Medical Center Manager of Cardiac Rehab.

"Listening to my body is the thing that I had the hardest time with, the thing I'm struggling with most," said Kendrick."I probably ignored signs and symptoms that led to this cardiac arrest. Paying attention to my body I think and hope will prevent that from happening again."

One of the best ways to prevent it from happening is to keep and maintain a healthy active lifestyle.

"The exercise or activity itself doesn't cause the problem, it just uncovers the problem," said Dalton.

"To be here for my wife is the most important thing and that factors into taking care of myself," said Kendrick. "I don't want to die, I don't want to leave her alone. In fact, one thing that did cross my mind was that I don't want to die and leave her alone, so I made a drastic 180 of my lifestyle."

The best preventative measures to take are keep track of your weight, diet, cholesterol, blood pressure, stay hydrated, exercise regularly, and check your family history.