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From ‘The Big One’ to Big Relief

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Jesse Patterson has always been more of a self-treatment type of guy when it comes to dealing with his health. So, when the normally active 73-year-old New Holland resident started getting short of breath and felt his lungs burning when he walked any distance, he figured he just needed to exercise a bit more.

But Jesse, who lived in Chillicothe at the time, realized his problem was more serious one day when he experienced what felt like really bad indigestion across his entire chest and the antacid he took wasn’t having any impact on the pain.

“I was getting really strong pressure in my chest and a lot of pain and I was getting weak and couldn’t do much,” he said. “It kept getting worse and worse and I started thinking this felt like ‘the big one’ coming on, so I thought I’d better go to the hospital. I could hardly get around, though, because it hurt so bad, so I had to call 911.”

Jesse doesn’t remember much of what happened after being loaded into the ambulance, other than after being given some medication, everything felt very surreal to him and he recalls everyone at the emergency room moving around very quickly to help him.

“It was sort of a blissful feeling, I just thought I was dying or something and I just didn’t seem to care at that point and couldn’t figure out why everybody was so excited about getting me taken care of,” he said. “The next thing I remember that wasn’t surreal was Dr. (Hafeez) Hassan telling me that everything worked out OK and they were sending me to the intensive care unit and I was going to be all right.”

Jesse learned that he’d had a massive heart attack, and he is very thankful interventional cardiologist Dr. Hassan and Adena Regional Medical Center were close enough to provide him with the care he needed when he needed it most.

“Dr. Hassan was very reassuring,” he said. “I just think about how grateful I was and how I felt like he was the best doctor in the world. I had a lot of confidence in him because he was so confident.”

Jesse entered the ICU on a Saturday afternoon following his procedure feeling very weak. By Monday morning, however, he said he was ready for discharge and by Monday afternoon he was back driving his car.

Since then, he has returned to his lifelong hobbies of working on and riding motorcycles and is back to painting, getting some pieces ready for an art show this spring. He also advocates not waiting to visit the emergency department if you fear you may be having a heart attack.

“Don’t put it off,” Jesse said. “From what I understand, I barely got there in time for them to even save me. I didn’t really have any time to spare, the way the doctor put it, I maybe had minutes at the most. It seems like everything just really came together to work out right for me, and Adena Health and Dr. Hassan were big parts of that.”

Time is of the essence to get treatment for a heart attack, as each minute untreated can result in more heart tissue becoming damaged or dying. The first hour following an attack is critical in improving the odds of a patient’s survival.

Having essential cardiac care close to home, therefore, is important when experiencing symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea, lightheadedness or sudden dizziness, significant heartburn or indigestion, chest pain and/or pain or discomfort that spreads to the shoulder, arm, back, neck, or jaw. Those symptoms may indicate a heart attack.

Adena Health provides essential cardiac services, whether you need emergency care, treatment of a chronic condition, or if something simply does not feel right. For more about Adena’s cardiac care, its providers and full range of services, visit