“I just wasn’t feeling well and was popping Tums [antacids] like they were going of style,” remembers John Allen of Wardsboro. What John didn’t realize was that he had suffered a massive heart attack. John had never had any heart problems, never had high blood pressure. Always reluctant togo to a doctor, John just rested at home. But, two weeks later, he could no longer get out of bed and he couldn’t feel his toes.
John’s family brought him to Grace Cottage Hospital’s Emergency Department. “They saved my life,” says John. John was seen by Warren Montgomery, PA, who did a cardiac workup and made a quick decision to call the DHART (Dartmouth Hitchcock Advanced Response Team) helicopter. John does not remember the helicopter to ride to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC). He next remembers waking up in the Intensive Care Unit at DHMC, where doctors told him that he had suffered a massive heart attack. He also was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (a blood clot in a deep vein) in his left leg. And more bad news followed—his left leg needed to be amputated from above the knee. “When they told me the leg had to come off, I almost went ballistic,” recalls John. “I thought that was the end of everything, but it really wasn’t. I fought back.”