HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A Henrico man has survived a heart attack thanks to the quick action of first responders.
Now, he and his doctors are warning others to know the signs and how to prevent it.
Bryant Mitchell was landscaping one of his customer’s homes on Tuesday, June 28. He didn’t feel well, so he took some medication hoping to relieve the pain.
“Felt like somebody was sitting on me,” he said. “Then the stabbing came and so I’m grabbing my chest and I’m driving at the same time and I’m like ‘This don’t feel right,'” Mitchell said.
The pain forced him to drive to the closest Henrico County Firehouse on Darbytown Road.
Mitchell said while driving, he saw a bright light. He flagged down first responders at the firehouse.
“Suppose they weren’t there?” he asked.
First responders recognized Mitchell from his local business and social media pages. They began treating him for a heart attack and took him to the hospital.
“Once he said I was having a heart attack, I started crying because I just lost four friends and a cousin in the same week,” he said. “I didn’t want to be number six.”
Doctors at VCU Medical Center performed emergency heart surgery and inserted a stent.
Mitchell said doctors told him that he had an extremely high cholesterol level, which makes him susceptible to a heart attack despite being highly active.
Doctors said some other risk factors for heart attacks include obesity, diabetes, a family history of heart disease and high blood pressure.
They also suggest men 50 years and older should get screened by a cardiologist, regardless if symptoms are showing or if someone has risk factors.
This isn’t the first time Mitchell experienced a medical emergency. He was in the hospital nearly a year ago for COVID-19.
“Delta was bad. Less than 11 months ago I was in the hospital with Delta and now all of a sudden here comes this heart attack,” he said.
Mitchell owns a landscaping and janitorial business called One Step Above. Some of his clients are also cancer patients, and he cuts their grass every two weeks for free.
“When you’re going through radiation, I’ve seen my father go through it, and chemo, the last thing that’s on your mind is landscaping,” he said. “I love doing it. It’s just my way of giving back and honoring my father for the things he’s done.”
Mitchell is now resting, changing his eating habits and preparing for his next surgery in August.
He’s hoping his story grabs the attention of men his age.
“We got to go to the doctor. We got to get our blood drawn. We got to take care of ourselves, because my friends didn’t make it…but I did and it’s a blessing,” Mitchell said. “Those guys at the fire station, I love those guys man. They really took care of me.”