Paul Rollins suffered a heart attack during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many, he was hesitant to go to the Emergency Department, despite experiencing symptoms. His decision to seek treatment saved his life -- and he encourages others to do the same.

You can view this conversation in the video below, or read the accompanying transcript.



Paul Rollins, Heart Attack Patient

00:04 - My name is Paul Rollins, I'm a lifelong horseman. When I first go up to a new horse I always check them out, look for the small signs. A shift of weight or the flick of an ear, but when I look at the eyes they tell me who I'm really dealing with. It tells me their soul. The eyes are the soul.

00:39 - I have had a nice local practice here. I've groomed show horses, I've worked with race horses and am recently retired - about a year - slowly adapting.

01:02 - I was basically out looking at a couple of horses I had been called on. People still call me about horses sometimes. I did an odd job on one horse and started going back home and suddenly started getting pains in my chest, started getting cold sweats, got home and tried to sleep it off.

01:30 - In the middle of the afternoon my wife came home and I explained to her what had happened, my symptoms, and thought that I had a heart attack. Because of this COVID crisis I was worried about the hospital but talked to my primary care and they told me to go to the Emergency Room right away.

Joseph Lewis, MD, Interventional Cardiologist

01:51 - It's important for patients to realize that they need to come in to the Emergency Room directly when they're having symptoms of a potential acute coronary syndrome. When a patient comes in to the Emergency Room with a heart attack and they're going to be rushed to the Cath Lab, we have something called a door-to-balloon time and we literally look at it per minute. If there is a delay of even three or four minutes that actually has an impact on survival, so it's that important. Paul was hesitant to come to the hospital for fear of COVID-19.

Paul Rollins, Heart Attack Patient

02:27 - I went to the Emergency Room at the height of the Coronavirus and the beginning was a little intimidating but the process was very efficient. I felt very safe, even in the middle of this crisis and I just relaxed.

Joseph Lewis, MD, Interventional Cardiologist

02:41 - Chester County Hospital is following the CDC guidelines to the T. The risk of transmission is extraordinarily low. Much lower than going to your local grocery store or pharmacy.

02:56 - Paul had evidence of a myocardial infarction, there was a little bit of damage done to the heart. So what we did was an angioplasty. Paul had no further symptoms after the procedure.

Paul Rollins, Heart Attack Patient

03:10 - I was told it was a little more complicated than usual and I pulled through nicely. Everything went very smooth, I was very lucky.

Everybody took great care of me. The care team they were always on. Everybody was in a good mood and interested in where I was at. They're not looking through you, they're looking at you, I could see it in the eyes.

Joseph Lewis, MD, Interventional Cardiologist

03:31 - This COVID era has had its challenges, for sure. But I think that we've come together as team. We can treat patients safely and effectively.

Paul Rollins, Heart Attack Patient

03:44 - Being older has an advantage. It gives you a lot of experiences that you can go with or pick from. I'm not going to fight nature; I think if you bend a little you get a lot more than if you're rigid. The same thing I do with my animals, you know, I go with the temperament and the progression as their age goes on. As the horse changes, I have to change with.

04:16 - To all the people behind masks, thank you. My experience at Chester County Hospital was heartfelt and professional. Lots of people wearing masks, but my welfare a priority in difficult times. Not once worried, I surrendered to the process. The person you are still comes through, it's all in the eyes.

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