Recognizing the Signs: Heart Attack Patient Story

On August 31, 2013, 31-year-old groom, Nicholas Nomura was on his way to a pre-wedding, golf game with friends.

He jumped in the car and headed toward his friend’s house when he felt like he had heartburn. He took an antacid, but his chest pain only grew worse. Nomura knew something was not right.

Drenched in sweat, Nomura arrived at his friend’s house and got out of the car. His friend’s mother saw his face turn gray and knew he was having a heart attack and immediately told him, “We’re going to the hospital.”

After arriving at the Emergency Department, Nomura was quickly in the care of cardiologist Abdulwahhab Alroaini, M.D. and his team. The electrocardiogram (EKG) revealed over 95 percent blockage in the Left Anterior Descending (LAD) artery in his heart, otherwise known as, the “widow maker.” The doctors prepared to insert a stent to allow blood flow to his heart.

As Nomura’s bride-to-be and family started arriving at the Hospital, it grew clear to Dr. Alroaini that the couple planned to cancel the wedding, which was the next day. Dr. Alroaini suggested waiting before calling off the event.

“Don’t cancel anything. You have to get married tomorrow,” Dr. Alroaini reassured them.

He inserted the stent within 65 minutes, then performed an Echo test and discovered that Nomura’s blockage was cleared.

Typically, a severe patient like Nomura would have to stay at the Hospital for at least two days, but Dr. Alroaini explained to Nomura and his family what symptoms to look out for, gave them his personal cell phone number for any emergencies, and sent Nomura to the altar.

Nomura and his bride invited Dr. Alroaini and his staff to the wedding, but he declined the invitation, “to take care of other patients like you.”

The happy couple married on Sunday, September 1, 2013. Nomura is now feeling good again and is back to work.

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