How one military man learned the difference between heartburn and a heart attack.

Back to good health with CARES

Tex Turner had been a fit man throughout his military career, maintaining his 185-pound frame with exercise and a balanced diet. Even as a retired Army Col., Turner remained fit for decades. Various life changes led Tex to “let himself go,” as he described it, and his weight rose to 200 pounds. 

Then Tex received a wakeup call in the form of chest pains. Believing it to be heartburn, Turner waited for the pain to subside. When the intensity worsened, he got himself Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center.

The team in Williamsburg quickly determined that Tex was having a heart attack and mobilized a team. As Tex describes it, he was immediately given medication and told he was going to the cardiac cath lab. He woke up about 2 that afternoon with a stent. After two days in the hospital, he was discharged. 

Rehab and rewards 

He faithfully attended CARES (Cardiac and Respiratory Exercise Science) for cardiac rehab at Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center and was determined to adopt the healthy lifestyle habits that kept him fit and trim. Tex knows the keys to good heart health are to eat right and stay in shape. He is armed with even more information and has become vigilant about watching his salt intake.

“I have joined the ranks of people who read labels in the grocery store,” Tex says with a laugh.

His experience as a heart patient has also taught him to listen to his body. He thinks people should know the symptoms of a heart attack and quickly call 9-1-1 if a problem is suspected. They should also have an ambulance transport them there.

Just a few months after his heart attack Tex was back to 185 pounds and plans to stay there. He graduated from CARES after 12 weeks of rehab and resumed working out at the Williamsburg/James City County Rec Center, where he had a membership in the past.

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