FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — A local fire chief is spreading awareness about heart health after surviving the widow maker heart attack. It’s known as one of the deadliest.
“For 23 years as a paramedic, and all my life working at the fire station I’ve asked people to describe the pain that you’re having,” said Bella Vista Fire Department, Division Fire Chief Scott Cranford.
At 45 years old, it was his turn to answer those questions.
“Denial is kind of a big part of it. You don’t have a previous history and first-time onset of a medical emergency when it occurs it is new to the patient.”
Cranford had been working a fire and had an intense training exercise when he felt something odd.
“To me, it felt like I was like breathing in 15 minutes of cold air and the back of my throat was burning.”
Cranford was having a heart attack. Captain Leon Lieutard noticed something wrong. “His skin was pale and he was very sweaty and he looked very tired”
Lieutard used a cardiac monitor to identify if Cranford was, in fact, having a heart attack and he was. The information collected was sent directly to Northwest Medical Center.
“I just remember breaking down and I knew at that point that this was very bad. I kind of in a way told my wife my last goodbye and told her that I loved her,” said Cranford.
He had a blockage in a major artery causing a widow-maker heart attack. A cardiologist helped open the artery, ultimately saving him.
Cranford now knows, first hand the importance of quickly seeking help.
”It’s important that we recognize that something is not right. At that point depending on the activity, family history and put it all together to at least let somebody evaluate you. A trip to the ER is worth saving your life,”
Cranford reminds people to pay close attention to shortness of breath, numbness and chest discomfort. Being aware could save your life.