Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local News

February 27, 2013

Heart attack survivor tells miraculous story

AMERICUS — Geraldine Ferguson, 62, thought she knew the signs of a heart attack, but she said it never crossed her mind when she experienced chest pains one night at work. She was 49 at the time.

 She said the only symptom she experienced was a dull, constant pain in her upper chest. “I was working midnight shift so I was tired anyway,” she said. The unfamiliar pain bothered her throughout the night, but she finished her shift. When she returned home she just wanted to go to sleep. She took two Aleve and slept until around 3 p.m. that afternoon. The pain had gotten worse and she knew she had to go to the hospital.

“I slipped on a coat and I drove myself to the emergency room at Sumter Regional,” she said.

Ferguson arrived just in time. Her condition worsened and she felt herself leaning over. She was taken quickly to an exam room.

“It seemed like I was going unconscious,” Ferguson said, but she remembered the nurse telling her she was having a heart attack. Then she said she saw the line on the EKG monitor go flat.

“They lost me for a few seconds, I guess. I remembered the doctor saying ‘that’s a miracle,’” she said.

Ferguson was prescribed a medication to regulate her high-blood pressure several years earlier but had no other health concerns. It was determined that she had a 95 percent blockage in her coratid artery. She was taken to Albany where she underwent surgery to insert a stint. After a few days of rest following surgery, Ferguson was released to go back home to complete her recovery.

Ferguson would like people to know that they could be in danger and not even know it. “I just assumed that I was tired,” she said. “Never assume pain in your body or take it for granted.”

She also said that she did not panic and if she had known she was having a heart attack she probably would have. On driving her self to the hospital, Ferguson said she didn’t remember the drive.

“I just remember getting in the car.”

“I made it by the grace of God,” she said.

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