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An Inspiring Story of Surviving the ‘Widowmaker’

Dr. Larry Antonucci's Blog Posts

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Before Dec. 30, 2023, Kevin Wilson, a resident of Fort Myers, showed no signs and had no symptoms of a heart condition (or any medical condition, for that matter). Yet, on Dec. 30, as he was playing pick-up basketball at McGregor Baptist, he had a heart attack and collapsed unconscious on the court.

 Thankfully, fellow players — a registered nurse and a radiologist — were there to start CPR and use the automated external defibrillator (AED) to restore his heart rhythm until EMS arrived. Paramedics stabilized Kevin and transported him to Gulf Coast Medical Center.

 Cardiac catheterization revealed Kevin had five blocked coronary arteries, four of which were 90-100% blocked. A few days into the new year, Kevin underwent quadruple coronary artery bypass grafting surgery. A few days after that, Kevin was discharged from HealthPark Medical Center. He was cleared a few weeks later to start cardiac rehabilitation.

After he recovered, Kevin shared his story with us— you may have seen it in if you receive Lee Health’s Healthy News email (https://tinyurl.com/HNWilson) or on NBC-2 in Sean Martinelli’s “Stories2Share” segment. In case you missed it, we created a short video—go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXKj7acX94E—to share Kevin’s incredibly inspiring story of survival. The short video features Kevin and Michael DeFrain, M.D., FACS, his cardiothoracic surgeon from the Shipley Cardiothoracic Center.

As Lee Health’s president & CEO, I always appreciate the opportunity to share our patients’ stories. Sharing stories helps us connect and empathize with others and reminds us of the honor it is to care for and serve others.

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