John D's Story

Updated: May 7


Hi, My name is John. I am 45 years old, Married to a beautiful wife, 3 girls and a boy and we love every minute of it. Penn State Grad. We live about 25 minutes outside of Pittsburgh Pa. I was adopted when I was 16 months old, I'm of mixed race, black and white, and my family are all Caucasian. It was a little weird sometimes, but my parents didn't teach prejudices or racism. Everyone was an individual and was treated like it. My Dad is a Surgeon, my Mom, an attorney, I guess you can call me the Theo Huxtable of the family....lol. Growing up I was super active in extreme sports, Skydiving, Scuba Diving, Caving, Kayaking, Disc Golf. I really do believe people are at their best when there is an element of danger involved. I couldn't get enough. I married a woman who is interested in all of that and some.


My story begins July 2017, I was a lineman for a Nuclear Power Plant, we ran service drops from the pole to the house, 280 volt lines. Needless to say I was in the box truck, part of my leg was touching the side of the lift truck box and even with proper PPE I grabbed a 280 line and the electricity traveled down my arm, across my heart, down my leg and out exactly where my leg was touching the box truck.


The damage was extensive. Immediately rushed to the hospital. I had 100% blockage in my Right Coronary Artery, No blood flow, and extensive damage to other parts. My life was over for the passion I loved. A stent was used to open the blockage, and I went home. It took a while to adjust. I had given up on the things I loved to do. Tragic.


Exactly 1 year later, My chest hurt and back to the hospital. 100% blockage in my Proximal Circumflex in my heart. Another stent to open and more drugs. I got super depressed, I feel into a deep void, and wouldn't you have it the worst was yet to come.


15 months later my life flashed before my eyes. Another hospital visit, yet this time, my Widowmaker Artery was 90% blocked, and the blockage was on a split between another vessel. It couldn't get stented. This requires Open Heart Surgery. It is called Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery. Or CABG. My procedure is called LIMA To LAD. They take an artery from my chest wall, and bypass the blockage. My date was Oct 1st 2019.


When i woke up, everything was different. I told myself i wouldn't give up. I needed to get healthy for me, for my family, and friends. My luck changed. The Surgery normally is 5 to 6 hours, mine was 2. Many heart surgeries require patient to be placed on heart lung bypass, Mine was off pump. Was this a sign my luck has changed? I wasted no time finding out. 3 Heart Surgeries in 3 years, Enough is enough. I'm Super Lucky to have caught a 90% blockage in my widowmaker, and I'm still here. I'm not going to give up.


Tomorrow will be 7 months since OHS. I have gone Scuba Diving, Caving, and Kayaking again and my family and friends support me everyday. I know how hard it is to get out of that rut. I refused to lay down, I won't allow my life to wither away. My body feels great. Life is never about giving up. Stay strong in your mind, love your life and ride.


#arteryblockage #openheartsurgery #CABG #LIMAtoLAD #friends #family #support

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