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Paducah neighbors experience heart attacks the same day



David Vishon knows what it’s like to be in a combat zone. A former U.S. Army drill sergeant, he has done two stints in Iraq and Afghanistan and one in Korea.

But it was a heart attack in December that really scared him.

“I was at work when I got a feeling in my chest like heartburn,” said Vishon, 40, of Paducah. “Then the pain in my arms started. It felt like someone was kneeling on my forearm. My chest started getting tight and I had a pins and needles sensation from my head to my ankles.”

Vishon, who works with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the Smithland Lock and Dam, was taken by ambulance to Baptist Health Paducah’s Chest Pain Center.

A few hours earlier, the same scenario had played out with Anthony Vaughn, 45, of Paducah. He was brought to the Emergency department with similar symptoms. Vaughn, who lives in the same neighborhood as Vishon, said he thought he had heartburn until the pain in his chest grew stronger throughout the day. 

Both men had heart attacks caused by blocked arteries.

“It was serious because they are young people,” said cardiologist Stephen Young, M.D. “This came completely out-of-the-blue for both of them. We got them both into the cath lab, opened the artery with a balloon and put a stent in it. Both were treated in less than 90 minutes, which is the national goal for most heart attack patients.”

Dr. Young was amazed at the coincidences. “Even their blockages were in the same place,” he said.

Both men smoke and have family history of heart disease and high blood pressure, but they are making lifestyle changes.

Vishon, who was living on a diet of fried food, has made big changes in his diet. 

“I’m staying away from salt and fast foods,” he said. “You have to do everything in moderation.”

Vaughn is trying to quit smoking. “Dr. Young said if I didn’t get to the hospital when I did, I could have died,” Vaughn said. “It’s scary. I’m thankful to Dr. Young. He saved my life.

If you have questions about heart attack or stroke symptoms, speak to a Baptist Health Paducah nurse anytime 24 hours a day at the Chest Pain & Stroke Hotline: 1-800-575-1911.