Freddie Diaz loves two things: his family and the Dallas Cowboys. The 65 year old father and grandfather set his alarm for 5 a.m. on Sunday, October 11. He’s had season tickets for many years, and Sundays are a tradition of tailgating and game-watching for his family. While his wife slept, he prepared the grill, chairs and other needed supplies to head to Arlington to see the Cowboys challenge the New England Patriot. Diaz started shaking and vomiting followed by profuse sweating. Dripping from head to two, he finally called 911 to ask about the symptoms of a heart attack. Within minutes, an ambulance arrived and rushed him to the Methodist Dallas Emergency Department.
Robert Simonson, DO, medical director of emergency services immediately diagnosed an anterior heart attack and called interventional cardiologist, Aaron Horne, Jr., MD. Dr. Horne raced Diaz to the catheter lab and inserted an Impella® CP pump into the aorta through the groin and threaded up to the heart to get blood flowing back to Diaz’s brain and other vital organs.
“It buys us time to determine what caused his heart to go into distress, and in this case, saved his life,” Dr. Horne says. “We have the Impella® devices at all four of our Methodist hospitals. That’s the same new technology that Mayo Clinic and other top hospitals use, and we have it here for patients in North Texas.”
While the catheter and pump stayed in position for 48 hours, Dr. Horne put in five stents within the first 45 minutes Diaz was at Methodist Dallas . After one week in recovery, Freddie was back on his feet cheering on his beloved ‘boys.
“They’ve been asking me, ‘You had a heart attack and you didn't have open heart surgery?’” Diaz says. “I said, ‘There's this little machine and it does miracles.’”
Watch Freddie’s and Dr. Horne share their stories with FOX 4:
Calvert Collins-Bratton is the Public Relations Manager at Methodist Health System. She spent ten years as a news reporter working in Omaha, Las Vegas and Dallas-Fort Worth at FOX 4. When not working, she and her husband Vince love taking Vivienne to neighborhood parks, the Dallas Arboretum, White Rock Lake, and to visit her family nearby.