KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Glenn Barnes is spending his Valentine’s Day feeling thankful.
Earlier this year, the 54-year-old suffered a massive heart attack.
“I had no idea,” Barnes said. “I had felt pain earlier in the week but that was three or four days before."
It’s something a quarter of a million people suffer from each year in the U.S.
“It's a fairly rampant medical problem,” Dr. ParamdeepPaweja with Truman Medical Centers said. “The kind of heart attack Glenn had is a heart attack that can kill people. That's when an artery gets completely blocked and the heart does not get any blood at all."
In an effort to get back to his normal routine, Barnes is spending his days at the Cardiac Rehab Unit at the Truman Medical Center.
“They go through various steps where their strength is gradually brought up to a level where they can be back to their original level of function or better and they can go back to their jobs,” Paweja said.
Through exercise and improvements in his diet, Barnes’s goal now is to get his heart healthy again.
“The cousins I grew up with, three of them are gone,” Barnes said. “I was lucky not to be the fourth.”
Although he and his wife of 33 years will be spending this Valentine’s Day a little differently, Barnes is happy he’s here to share it with her.
“I want to go to that nice restaurant with that fatty steak and I won't be doing that one,” Barnes said. “It feels wonderful. The part I don't like is we can't go out to eat like we used to.”
Doctors urge people to make sure they have a healthy low-salt diet, daily physical activity, no smoking and finding healthy hobbies to de-stress.