Fishers man remembers heart attack for National Men’s Health Awareness week

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By Anna Skinner

IU Health Saxony Dr. Sami Aasar and Damon Heasley are remembering a heart attack from three years ago to promote National Men’s Health Awareness week, June 12-18.

Dr. Sami Aasar, left, examines Damon Heasley during a check-up. Heasley had a heart attack three years ago. (Submitted photo)

Heasley, Fishers, had a heart attack July 22, 2014. Then 42 years old, he had recently returned from New Mexico, where he spent time backpacking with a Boy Scout troop. During his last day, he felt back pain and went for a chiropractic adjustment.

He went to the chiropractor for a few more weeks, but his back began aching again. He went to lay down. After 30 minutes, he felt a strong compression. Both his primary care physician and his chiropractor were on vacation, so he went to IU Health Saxony.

“They took me right in to have an EKG (electrocardiogram),” he said. “Within two hours, the doctor (Aasar) had two stints in.”

Heasley said he was very surprised he had a heart attack because he has always been thin, was 42 years old and had always eaten relatively healthy.

He recently saw Aasar for a stress test, and he encourages others to become more proactive in their health.

“Since my heart attack, several of my friends and (family) have had that test done, and for them it was more peace of mind. Nothing showed up,” he said. “My recommendation would be to have the specific heart evaluation done.”

Aasar said Heasley’s experience was unusual because he was young and healthy. He also encourages patients to consider a heart scan. IU Health offers $49 heart scans.

“The heart scans are very much like any screening test. It’s something to consider. Most importantly to consider is to have a regular follow up with a primary care physician and annual exam,” Aasar said. “They will go through those facts and go through underlying screening tests and initiate those. There are some other new screening coming to health care. (Heart scans) do help with early detection of disease.”

For more, visit iuhealth.org/heart-scan.

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