JOPLIN, Mo. — For most patients, it’s devastating — what’s called a “widowmaker.” A heart attack that very few survive.

A local man has beaten the odds.

“Actually that morning seemed like any other morning. It was on Wednesday, May 18th,” said Rick Moore, Widowmaker Survivor.

But things changed quickly for Rick Moore of Joplin. A lunch break at home led to growing pain and a trip to urgent care.

“About a 10-minute drive over, my chest starts really feeling, I’ve never felt before. I go into the receptionist to say you know my heart, I have chest pains. I got back there. And hook to the EKG. While on the EKG, I was having a heart attack,” said Moore.

A widowmaker.
It took an ambulance just minutes to rush Rick to Freeman West.

“The one blood vessel that was blocked, was 100% blocked, which we opened up,” said Dr. Darwin Jeyaraj, Cardiologist.

“And 90% blockage and I ballooned another artery and he went in, they went through my wrist,” said Moore.

And that initial process, from arriving at the hospital to the first surgery, took just minutes…a crucial timeframe in cardiovascular treatment.

“And it’s typically around 90 minutes. And that’s what we’re trying to meet — and our hospitals are closer to 40 minutes,” said Dr. Jeyaraj.

Rick still would have weeks at home recovering.

“The procedure recovery is very quick. The recovery is from the heart attack,” Dr. Jeyaraj added.

He’s now on medication and is making a number of lifestyle changes to improve his future health. And Rick Moore wants to make sure everyone knows not to ignore the symptoms.

“If I could tell anybody anything — take care of yourself, watch what you eat, exercise. Heart attacks present themselves in all sorts of fashions. If it doesn’t feel right, if it feels different, if the pain feels worse — get it checked out. It could save your life,” said Moore.