Heart attack survivor has chance to thank first responders

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An Overland Park, Kan., man is lucky to be alive after suffering a massive heart attack. Tuesday at Menorah Medical Center he got to thank the first responders and medical personnel that helped save his life.

Eric Matt had just finished a half marathon in April of 2012 when he started having symptoms. His left anterior descending artery -- often called the widow maker - ruptured and his heart stopped.

Cardiologist Dr. Paul Nager said the odds are one in 189,000 to suffer a heart attack toward the end of a marathon or half marathon. He says advancements in technology and getting medical attention in the field and early is key to survival.

Quick and easy warning signs of a heart attack

• Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest, lasting more than a few minutes.

• Pain spreading to the shoulders, neck or arms.

• Chest discomfort with lightheadedness, nausea fainting, sweating, or shortness of breath.

• Jaw pain, radiating down the neck.

• Upper back pain without apparent cause.

• Shortness of breath with mild exertion (e.g. climbing stairs.)

• Racing heart or irregular heartbeat rhythm.

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