Don’t ignore the warning signs of a heart attack. Bernie Hovey hoped he would never hear these words: “Mr. Hovey, you’re having a heart attack.” Unfortunately, Bernie heard these words and later realized that while the signs were there, they were easy to ignore, something he urges others not to do.
Bernie’s day started out wonderfully. He had his twin granddaughters and was busy holding them, and walking them around the nearby lake. He knew that the tingling in his arms after he held them wasn’t normal, and he knew the shortness of his breath that occurred during his walk was odd. Bernie consciously knew that these signs could be symptoms of a heart attack but didn’t think it could happen to him. The next morning he woke up feeling ill. Halfway through his day teaching at Archbishop Hoban High School, Bernie decided to go to his primary care physician who sent him to Western Reserve Hospital for an EKG. It was at this point that Bernie came to the realization that his biggest fear was true: He was having a heart attack.
Bernie was taken to Summa Akron City Hospital by ambulance where he was rushed to the catheterization lab. Dr. Kenneth E. Berkovitz, the system medical director at Summa Cardiovascular Institute, diagnosed Bernie with a completely blocked right coronary artery. Dr. Berkovitz placed two stents to open the artery. (A third stent was added to another artery about two weeks later.) Bernie describes his care at Summa Akron City Hospital as “first rate; I felt like I was the only person in the hospital.” Bernie is now back to teaching at Archbishop Hoban High School, serving as the mayor of Silver Lake and staying active with his wife.