The Daily Beet

19 Feb This is why Engine 2 exists – read this powerful testimonial….

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Subject: Heart attack

Today is a great day.
I have 33 years in the fire service. The last 2 years I have been a Capt. on a Truck Company (a Tower) at Station 74 on the **** ****** City Fire Dept.
Two months ago I started to have some serious angina. I denied it, thought it was gallbladder or acid reflux. One day when I was in pain I had Paramedic Firefighter Berry do a 12 lead EKG on me, it didn’t show a MI.   I went to my Doctor Feb 14, I was 256 lbs., cholesterol of 263. I had never had cholesterol that high, but I hadn’t had it checked for 4 years. The Doc. gave me a prescription of Staton and a acid inhabitant. He told me to eat half the portions of food and set me up for a 12 lead EKG stress test on Jan. 26, 2010.
The morning of Jan 25th I was off duty, woke up felt OK. Laying there I started to have pains in my neck, the pain then went across my clavicles, down my chest and left arm. This pain did not go away like the angina, I could not rationalize it.
I was to go to a funeral that morning, didn’t know I was headed to my own. I though of calling for an ambulance, but waited for my wife to come home from work to go to the  funeral with me. When she got home, I told her I could not wait for the stress test tomorrow, I had to know the cause of the pain now and the hospital was where we were going.  At the ER I told them I was having chest pain, but I thought it was acid reflux. They did a 12 lead EKG and it showed as big as day, a tombstone EKG. Anteroseptal infarct. within 5 to 10 minutes I was in the Cath Lab.
I received 5 stent’s. The Widow maker was opened up first. Then Doctor ******** saw that my Right Coronary Artery was occluded but receiving blood flow, The blood it was getting was coming from other artery’s,  backwards. I had had a heart attack years before. This was the reason that when hiking I always had to stop and catch my breath when everyone else kept going. It was why I cold not run stairs and had to walk them. I thought that it was because I was out of shape. I was out of shape, it was so hard to get into shape. My RCA got four stents. Wow the pain went away. My heart arteries were opened up.
The next day in intensive care, , I had the lunch tray at my bed. On the tray was a sandwich, a big slab of cheese, a slice of turkey, wheat bread, mayo, Sun chips, choc pudding, and a note that said Cardiac diet. I was suspicious, of the cheese, chips and pudding. decided not to eat but half of the chips and pudding. Then Doctor ******** came to visit. I got a stern lecture on the oils in the chips and to never have chips again. He then told me that I have Metabolic syndrome and that I was to cut out the meats, dairy products, and eat Whole Grains.
I told the nurse about the change in diet, she had a dietitian come to the room to help my wife an I, with the American Heart  Assos. Diet. Up to now I had done pretty good with the A. H. A. diet.
What my Doctor told me and what the dietitian was telling me was conflicting. I instructed her that I was to have no meat or dairy. I thanked her and took the book.
My oldest son has a Degree in Bioinformatics, he researched all night about my condition and told me the same thing that I could not have any animal products.
That evening I got the cardiac meal again. Lasagna covered with cheese. I ate half the meal. The next morning I got the Cardiac diet again, eggs and ham. Finally I pushed the tray away and decided I to go hungry then told the nurse that I can not eat what they are serving. She went and got the kitchen staff and I told them that I want Vegetables and Fruit for lunch and I got Vegetables and fruit for lunch but, they still had to put Cottage Cheese on the plate.
Before leaving the hospital Doctor ******** showed me the  angiogram of my heart. It was sobering  to see that I had had two heart attacks, one years ago and one the 25th.
I did  not realize how much I loved life, loved to be with my family and loved my job as a firefighter until something came along and tried to take it all away.
My wife and I left the hospital and went home. The first meal at home my wife just cried. I asked what was wrong, She said ” I cant make anything that you will eat”.  Wow I felt bad. I didn’t know what to say.  She did good, she came up with some beans salsa and whole wheat tortilla shells and we had bean burritos.
The next day I went shopping at a Club membership warehouse. I was intimidated by the food stacked to the ceiling, foods that I could not eat.
Sunday my wife tried to bake some muffins with apple sauce and substitutes, they burned, not a good day, the tears came again.
I had to do something to help in the kitchen. I would go to the rehab center to work out. After wards I would go to the health food stores. Searching for the things I could eat. It was like going to school reading  the ingredients. When the store clerks would ask if they could help I would just tell them that I was studying the store.
I sent an E-mail to some of my friends on other Fire Depts. that I had had a heart attack. Steve O**** from *****  *City Fire on Tower 83 sent one back with the Engine 2 Diet site on it. I watched your fathers Y-Tub video. This had the same affect on me as watching my angiograms. It Made my resolve to eat healthy stronger. I watched it over and over. I then looked for more info on heart attack proofing my heart. Watched the “Make yourself heart attack proof” video. Steve got me your dads book and on  to more Y-Tubes by Popper and Ornish. I tried to read The Engine 2 Diet on line but couldn’t so, I ordered it. I have read it now. I  ordered six more of “the Engine 2 Diet” and five of “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease”. These are for all the firefighters and friends that have so many questions.
The recipes in the books have helped greatly, the tears are gone. I even help in the kitchen now. It’s kind of fun cutting up the veggies, being in the kitchen with the little bride and trying new things.
I feel great I have lost another 10 lbs. When I walk (that’s all I can do now) I have to hold back and not over do it. There is no shortness of breath, I really want to give my new heart a test. In one month I get to do a EKG stress test. I am going to blow it away. I can’t wait to see what my cholesterol is. It is amazing the feeling the Diet gives, I feel lighter, positive and energetic. It’s awesome.
Thanks to my Cardiologist Dr. ******** for the Life saving Procedures and getting me started on the right trail.
Thanks to my son who was looking out for me.
Thanks goes to Steve O**** of Tower 83 for getting me the info I needed. He wanted me to tell you hello.
Thanks to you and your father for putting the books and information together and sharing that with me. Thanks for The Engine 2 Diet. Without this knowledge I think I would have had another heart attack within two years.
And thanks to my wife, to who I have given my heart, with full trust and confidence.

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Ami Mackey for Engine 2
Ami Mackey

Ami Mackey is the Curator of Creative Content at Engine 2. She is also a food coach at Engine 2 and has been plant-strong since 2011. When she isn't attending to all things Engine 2, she is the Program Director at St Louis All City Boxing a nonprofit youth program. She has earned certificates from eCornell in Plant-Based Nutrition & Fitness Nutrition from NASM.

  • Diane LeBeau
    Posted at 14:12h, 22 February

    Good News! This message is good news for every one who is concerned about weight loss, improving physical fitness, and becoming heart attack proof.

    Thanks to your friends and the wonderful doctor who got you on the right path.

    Your story is an inspiration for us all. It feels good to be progressing toward better health. One PLANT-STRONG day at a time.

  • allen j. malloy
    Posted at 14:48h, 25 February

    dear sirs I have had some heart problems I am retired from the Boston Police Force,and I just had a catherazation which shows three blocked arteries I am due for open heart surgery in a couple of months but first they want to try medications to alleviate the problem your book sounds as though it could help, I am interested in purchasing same please advise

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