Medical City Healthcare - January 03, 2020

Ed Burkett, of Denton, has already died 44 times.

Ed was enjoying his weekly golf game with friends when he felt a sharp pain.

“I thought that I just had a gas bubble in my chest,” Ed said. “I had no idea that I was having a heart attack. I guess then all heck broke loose.”

A golfing buddy drove him to the nearby VA clinic, where staff called paramedics to take him to Medical City Denton. As the only Cycle V Accredited Chest Pain Center in Denton, no other hospital is better prepared in a cardiac emergency.

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Virtually no chance for survival.

Ed was three feet from the cardiac cath lab table when he died the first time. He was in ventricular fibrillation (V-fib) arrest—a type of heart arrhythmia in which the heart quivers instead of pumping blood. Without quick resuscitative efforts, Ed had virtually no chance for survival.

The Medical City Denton heart team used every tool and skill to help save Ed’s life. He was given cardiopulmonary resuscitation, intubation, ventilation, a pacemaker, a defibrillator, a stent, a left ventricular assist device and therapeutic hypothermia. With each new procedure, Ed’s heart was shocked back to normal rhythm. During the one-hour emergency, it happened 44 times.

“My chances of survival were low,” Ed said. “Many have called me a miracle. But God’s got a purpose for me.”

The place for cardiac care.

After surgery, Ed’s temperature was deliberately lowered to preserve his brain function, then slowly warmed over the next eight days until he could be removed from the ventilator. Two days later, he began walking and talking with encouragement from cardiac rehab specialists. He was back on the golf course within a week.

“My experience was phenomenal,” Ed said. “Not only was I treated professionally and as well as anybody could possibly expect, my friends and family were treated like royalty. This hospital is the cardio hospital of this area. If you want cardiac care, this is the place to be. Because they didn’t give up.”

Learn to spot the symptoms of a heart attack.

While the symptoms of a heart attack can be different for everyone, you could have one or more of these common signs:

  • Head: Dizziness, lightheadedness
  • Neck or jaw: Pain or discomfort
  • Shoulders or arms: Pain or discomfort in one or both
  • Chest: Pain or discomfort; fullness; heaviness; squeezing; heartburn
  • Lungs: Shortness of breath
  • Back: Pain or discomfort
  • Stomach: Pain or discomfort; nausea;
  • Whole body: Breaking out in a cold sweat; fatigue; weakness

Call 911 if you think someone is having a heart attack.

If you or someone in your family experiences chest pain or any other symptoms of a heart attack, one of our many Medical City Healthcare emergency locations or Accredited Chest Pain Centers has you covered. With average wait times posted online, if you do have an emergency, you can spend less time waiting and more time on the moments that matter most.

Find a fast Medical City ER near you or visit Medical City Virtual Care for non-emergency medical treatment from your computer or smartphone.

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