Funny feeling leads to multiple heart attacks — but a full recovery — for Vincent Smalls

Vincent Smalls, heart patient, Abrazo West Campus

sharon

Sometimes a funny feeling is the only warning sign you get.

Vincent Smalls had been jogging at Luke Air Force base the morning of March 18. His run seemed pretty ordinary, but looking back, he knew something was off.

“I had been jogging and I felt funny,” Vincent recalls. “When I got home, I blacked out and fell down. When I came to, I asked my son to call 911, and the paramedics took me to Abrazo West Campus.”  

The surgeons opened Vincent’s blocked artery, but even after the blockage was cleared, he was still in serious danger. 

“I kept having heart attacks when I tried to wake up, so they put me in a medically induced coma,” he says. “Once I was stabilized, I was able to wake up and stayed in the ICU for 10 days.” 

Once Vincent no longer needed intensive care, he was transferred to a rehab facility. He recovered there for a little over a week before going home. On May 5, Vincent returned to Abrazo West Campus to have a stent put in, and now he’s hard at work rehabbing his heart.

“The care I received was outstanding,” Vincent says. “The nurses in the ER and the ICU kept me pain free and comfortable. They made sure all my numbers were right on my labs. But most of all, they were very friendly and they took great care of me.”

Vincent was so touched by how much the staff cared that he gave them a photo collage to thank them when he left. He says he’ll always remember the life-saving care he got at Abrazo West Campus. 

I feel blessed to be alive,” he says. “I’m healthy. I’m able to exercise. I credit Abrazo West Campus for saving my life.