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Murray man thankful for fast treatment of heart attack

Allen Mack and his wife, Holly, planned to go skiing over New Year’s, but their plans were canceled at the last minute. They now believe it was divine intervention. 

“It would have been a catastrophe if his heart attack had happened up there in the middle of nowhere,” Holly said.

Instead, Mack was home in Murray and felt fine until a burning sensation in his chest grew stronger by the minute.

“My chest was on fire,” said Mack, 39, a deputy jailer at the Calloway County Jail. “It was like someone took a blow torch to my chest. A heart attack never crossed my mind in the beginning. I just wanted a quick way to cool off.”

Holly drove her husband two miles to Murray-Calloway County Hospital’s Emergency department as he began having other symptoms, including nausea and arm numbness. Physicians gave him a clot-busting medication; but when it failed, he was transported to Baptist Health Paducah, the region’s only Cycle III Chest Pain Center with with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) designation. 

Baptist Health Paducah cardiologist Bradley McElroy, M.D., said Mack had a sizable heart attack caused by a blood clot. Mack was taken to the cardiac cath lab, where Dr. McElroy used clot extraction devices, as well as angioplasty, to remove the clot and plaque from the blood vessel. 

Mack left the hospital two days later and has changed some bad habits. He quit smoking; he has taken up walking and healthier foods. “The most important thing is to listen to your body,” Mack said. “Your body doesn’t lie.”