– June 25, 2007
- Charles Cameron went to bed at 10:30 last Sunday night and woke up two hours later with chest pain.
“I knew I was in trouble,” Cameron says, even though he has no history of heart disease and had no previous symptoms. He took two aspirin and his wife, Connie, drove him half-a-mile to Outer Banks Hospital in Nags Head. After an EKG, a chest x-ray and nitroglycerin, Dr. Linda Morway called for Dare County MedFlight, which flew Cameron to Sentara Heart Hospital
® in Norfolk.
“I was a policeman for 39 years,” Cameron recalls, “and I never thought it would be me being loaded into a helicopter.”
After an emergency catheterization by interventional cardiologist Dr. Carl Hartman, Cameron was in an operating room Monday morning, where cardiac surgeon Dr. Wayne Derkac performed a double coronary by-pass. One of Cameron’s arteries was 99% blocked by plaque.
“I just feel lucky to be here,” Cameron said as he continues the recovery process after his discharge on Saturday, June 23rd, his 62nd birthday.
Cameron retired from the Norfolk police department as deputy chief in 1995 after 27 years. He became Nags Head police chief that same year, public safety director in 1997 and town manager in August of 2006. He fully expects to return to work as soon as his rehabilitation allows, which could be several weeks.
Cameron’s advice for other men of a certain age is all about preventive health.
“When you get to 50, you’ve got to watch your weight and pay more attention to your health,” he insists. “There could be things going on that you don’t know about.” 33/2007