MountainView Hospital - January 17, 2019
Couple talks in bright room while dog sits beside them

It was a normal day for Lisa and Joshua. The couple had just moved to Las Vegas the week prior. They had driven cross country in a rented van, and had just finished loading their things into a storage shed, where they would be keeping them during the transition.

The work was hard, unloading the van, moving the boxes, arranging furniture so it would all fit in the storage unit. A couple times, Joshua, who'd recently celebrated his 37th birthday, mentioned to his wife that he was having a hard time breathing and felt a tightness in his chest. They wrote it off because of their recent exhausting long drive and the physical exertion from moving.

Driving back from the storage shed, Lisa and Joshua were in the back seat, as Lisa's parents drove them toward the family home in North Las Vegas.

Joshua started mentioning that he was feeling really tired. Joshua, who was buckled up, suddenly convulsed and went limp. Lisa screamed for her father to help - and her father remembered that ER at Aliante was just around the corner.

The family drove to the ER, pulled up and Lisa's mom ran inside for help. The staff at the ER sprang into action. Joshua was having a STEMI. Our ER nurses began chest compressions in the car, working to save Joshua's life. They finally pulled him from the car and onto a gurney, all the while working to get his heart beating again.

Joshua was then transferred to MountainView, where he was sent to the Cath Lab for an emergent cardiac catheterization. During the catheterization, the circumflex artery was found to be 100 percent blocked. The artery was successfully opened by balloon angioplasty and a stent placed. Following the procedure, Joshua was transferred to the ICU.

Four days later, Joshua was discharged, with his wife by his side.

"If it wasn't for the team at ER at Aliante, and then at MountainView, he wouldn't have made it," his wife Lisa said.

A heart attack can happen at any time, and it can affect men, women, as well as young and old.

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States, with 600,000 dying annually of heart disease. More than five million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pain.

Classic chest symptoms can include pain, pressure or discomfort in the chest cavity, shortness of breath, cold sweats and nausea and/or vomiting. Women may experience different symptoms, including unusual fatigue, pressure in the upper abdomen and back pain.

People most at risk are men over the age of 30, post-menopausal women, diabetics, people with high blood pressure and/or cholesterol and obese people.

If you or someone you are with are experiencing signs of a heart attack – call 9-1-1 immediately to get help.