9-1-1 HEART ATTACK
After his heart attack, Ron was given a second chance at life. He was determined not to waste it.
Update – Ron Richter – In His Own Words: 4 Years After a Heart Attack
I feel much better today than I did prior to my heart attack on January 17, 2017. I still have bad days, but the good days outnumber the bad ones tenfold. Although I feel much better, I do realize that I will be living with heart disease for the rest of my life.
Changes have been extensive, as a healthy diet and regular exercise have become part of my daily life. I’ve lost a lot of weight, initially around 70 pounds. I’ve gained about 10 of that back from lifting weights and what not, but I know the weight loss has helped my heart immensely and has also helped with my sleep apnea.
I make sure to limit my daily sodium intake and try and stay away from foods high in saturated fat, cholesterol and preservatives. My exercise routine includes a lot of bicycling and playing basketball, as they are both great forms of cardiovascular exercise, which of course is good for the heart and helps with my high blood pressure. Another change I’ve made is I’ve been smoke free since February of 2017. I smoked a pack to two packs of cigarettes a day for over 20 years. During my first visit to the Heart Center at Sheridan Memorial Hospital (SMH) following my attack, I asked Dr. Garcia what was the main reason for me having a heart attack at such a young age, and he said smoking…..that’s all I needed to hear. I haven’t touched a cigarette since.
The hardest thing to change has probably been my diet. It was a little overwhelming at first, as I quickly realized that most, if not all of the food I had been eating had little, if any nutritional value, and was nowhere near heart healthy. Grocery shopping became an experience, as reading the nutritional content became the norm in an effort to limit my daily intake of sodium, cholesterol, and saturated fat. Now I know what to buy and what not to buy, so that part has become much easier.
Aside from my six-month check-ups at the SMH Heart Center, I really haven’t stayed in touch with the people that were responsible for giving me a second chance at life. While I may not keep in touch with any of them, I appreciate every single person that played a role in helping me stay on this planet a little longer. I appreciate them all, everyone from the EMT’s with Rocky Mountain Ambulance and Sheridan Fire-Rescue, to the team at the ER and Cardiac Cath lab, and of course, Dr. Garcia. Because without all of them, I most likely wouldn’t be writing these words today.
As far as advice, if you think you may be a candidate for heart issues, talk with your doctor and make sure to check your blood pressure regularly. Keep an eye on your cholesterol levels and be proactive, not reactive about any and all issues regarding your heart health.
Click below to see the original video from 2017 where Ron talks about the great care he received from the Sheridan Memorial Heart Center after his heart attack.
MEDICAL EXCELLENCE – right here at home