By Paula Huffingham- Suhey
Bruce Hamilton, morning news anchor at WJXT Channel 4, has reported on health issues, particularly those related to matters of the heart, throughout his 35 year career. He has been the one looking for a story, the one asking the questions, but not this time.
This time, the story is about him.
“I really don’t like to go to the doctor, but I had this nagging pain in my left arm that wouldn’t go away,” said Hamilton. “And I knew that both [my] grandfathers had passed away in their 60’s because of heart problems and my father has a stint,” he continued.
He went to see a friend [who is a cardiologist] who convinced him that it was time for an echocardiogram and a nuclear stress test. The results were somewhat suspicious, but Hamilton was not concerned. However, the doctor ordered a heart catheterization.
“I suffered an 80% blockage in the main heart artery they call, ‘The Widow-maker.’ It’s known in the medical world as the left anterior descending coronary artery,” he said.
While implanting a stent, there were some complications and Hamilton essentially “crashed”.
He said he remembers reaching down to touch the cold metal of the gurney to ensure that he was alive.
“I thought I might be dying,” he said, “but I was still a journalist, so I kept asking questions. I wanted to know what they were doing. I also knew I wanted to live.”
Hamilton said that this has been an eye opening experience that has given him an opportunity to rethink his priorities along with a deep appreciation for the medical profession.