a heart attack with no pain

The fun part of this job is meeting Union County folks and hearing their stories. Recently I interviewed Dan Winn for the special edition we will publish on Veteran’s Day in November. During the course of our conversation, we expanded beyond Dan’s military service. With his wife Shirley’s input, they shared the following incidents from his life.

“In 1942, when I was 12 years old, I had gone home to eat lunch. (At that time there were no school lunchrooms.) My dad was home because he had passed out at work. I went back to school. In the afternoon Mrs. B.W. Reeves came into my classroom and told my teacher that she needed help to move some plants. My teacher asked for a boy volunteer. Every boy in the class raised his hand, except me. However, she point blank asked me if I would go help Mrs. Reeves. When Mrs. Reeves and I got in her car, she explained to me that she really did not need any help, she just needed to talk to me privately. She explained that my Daddy had just died. I thought to myself, “That’s not possible. I just saw him at lunch.”

Winn’s mother told him that his dad “got sick and passed out at work. He drove himself home. She called the doctor. As they were waiting for him, my dad laid his head on my mom’s lap. She was wiping his face with a cold wash cloth when he died. He had had a heart attack and passed away at age 44. Even with his casket in our dining room, it was not until his funeral was over and I was walking down the steps of First Baptist Church that the reality ‘hit’ that I would never, ever see my Daddy alive again. I cried and cried because I loved my daddy very much.”

In high school Winn helped deliver papers for the El Dorado News. In the early morning hours he coordinated the routes of the other carriers, waking the sleepers and finding substitutes for the sick carriers. He left school an hour early to return to the newspaper offices for the afternoon delivery of the El Dorado Times. His early experience in business introduced him to the business world, where he worked until he retired.

The family medical history of heart problems touched Winn’s life in 1992.
“We had just moved and I was taking a week off from my business to put up and straighten things out. I walked outside to pick up the paper, went back in the house to the bedroom and sat on the side of the bed. I was opening the newspaper, when I experienced an odd sensation flow through and over my body. I felt ‘funny’ but had no pain. I thought to myself, ‘I wonder what this is!’  At that point, I heard a voice saying, ‘Dan (He called me by name), go to the hospital. Go to the hospital NOW!’  He shouted ‘NOW!’ I knew it was God speaking to me. I called my son Scott. He helped me get dressed and drove me to the hospital.”
Although he had no pain, he had an EKG.

“According to what I’ve been told, I had approximately 30 minutes to live. I had had a massive heart attack and was dying.

“Dr. Berry Lee Moore gave me two shots to try to get blood flowing to my heart. He explained to my wife what he had done and stated, ‘by 2:30 this afternoon, we will know one way or the other.’

“As Dr. Moore was explaining this and looking at the monitor, the blockage was partially broken. At that point, with the doctors not expecting me to live, the helicopter was called and I was air lifted to Little Rock where Dr. Bruce Murphy performed an angioplasty.
“When I asked Dr. Murphy why he did angioplasty instead of his new procedure which I had read about, he said, ‘Dan, you do realize that you were a very sick man when you got here? You would not even have survived lab preparation. The only chance of you living was for me to get in and get some blood flowing and get out and pray.’”

Winn finds it ironic that “all of the doctors who worked on me and with me in El Dorado in 1992 at the hospital have since passed away.”

“I have no doubt, none at all, that I heard God speaking to me. I believe 100 percent that I am alive today because I heard and obeyed His voice. And I am very grateful for the healing miracle that I experienced when I was 62. I am now 82 years old.”
Not a story one hears every day, which is why I wanted to share it with you, my readers.