According to EMSA officials, they’ve seen their biggest spike in heart troubles for the year during the last week.
Not to dampen any spirits but, studies show heart troubles spike this time of year.
With more than 130 heart attack calls in just the last six day, it’s been a busy week with cardiac troubles for Oklahoma City EMSA.
Last year, Don Houston suffered a heart attack just a week before Christmas with holiday stress all around him.
“I actually spent Christmas Eve and Christmas in the hospital,” says Houston.
Medics attribute the holiday spike in heart troubles to emotional stress, over indulgence and the overall hustle and bustle of this time of year.
EMSA’S Jim Winham says, “With the holidays you want it to be full of laughter and fun and gifts and things like that so there are triggers that can increase your chances for cardiac problems.”
Houston had it all, even a family history.
“My dad had died from congestive heart failure,” says Houston. “My brother five years prior had had a sudden cardiac arrest and died.”
Houston still celebrated Christmas in full speed.
Medics say the “holiday heart syndrome” tops their list of worst calls to respond to.
“We were very busy yesterday. Surprisingly busy for Christmas,” says Winham. “It’s unique when you’re showing up at somebody else’s Christmas. It`s a terrible, emotional deal.”
Now with a second chance, Houston took it easy this Christmas, still decorating, shopping and eating just at a slower and healthier pace.
“I do remember this Christmas,” says Houston. “I wanted to put up my own decorations, my own lights and show everybody that hey I`m not an invalid! I can still do some things.”
That includes spending the last year sending a special warning.
Houston says, “Slow down and enjoy… enjoy life.”
You might remember Houston from a piece our own Lance West did in April. He was reunited with the medics that quickly got him to the hospital.
Fortunately the EMSA programs in Oklahoma City and Tulsa are some of the top programs in the nation when it comes to cardiac issues