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One metro man’s cardiac scare leads him to warn others

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Greg Pitts is going through cardiac rehab after a scare three weeks ago. The 66-year-old said he went for a walk -- and that's when he started feeling pain in his left jaw and chest, and was sweating profusely.

“I had to stop because I was out of breath, and normally I never have to stop,” said Pitts.

Pitts says he's healthy and exercises almost every day. When he started feeling ill, he went home, took some low-dose aspirin, and called his significant other, Betsy.

“Immediately, his voice started going garbaly, and moaning, and you kind of know your spouse`s or your partners voice... things were way, way off,” Betsy Donnelly explained.

Betsy called 911.

“I actually went out on the front porch and sat down, and they showed up within minutes of her calling,” added Pitts.

Johnson County emergency responders recognized Pitts was having heart attack and transported him to the University Of Kansas Hospital -- where Pitts went into cardiac arrest -- twice.

“From the time that we called 911 to the time I was in the hospital, in my bed in the ICU, was under three hours,” Pitts said.

His heart surgeons told him that if he had ignored his symptoms for even another 15-minutes, they wouldn't have been able to save him.

“Greg is the medical textbook antithesis of what should have happened, he shouldn`t have had a heart attack, given the risk factors, our family history,” Donnelly added.

“Time makes all the difference in the world,” said Pitts.

Pitts wanted to share his story so people, especially those with healthy lifestyles, listen when their bodies tell them something is wrong and to call 911 immediately because minutes can mean life or death.

Doctors told Pitts that he`ll probably make a full recovery, and has no heart damage.

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