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Jesse's Story

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In His Own Words:
Jesse Murphey

When the United States needs Jesse Murphrey's help, he responds.  Jesse is a disaster relief volunteer, who goes wherever and whenever he's called.  From the Pentagon to Ground Zero in 2001, to Florida four times in 2004 to offer hurricane catastrophe assistance, and to the Gulf Coast in 2005 to provide relief after hurricane Katrina, 73-year-old Murphrey is always ready to help. 

But it was when Jesse was relaxing, in fact, just after a nap in his favorite recliner, when the heart attack hit.  "I felt chest pressure, shortness of breath and I had this choking feeling," says Jesse.

Jesse's wife immediately called 911, which set into motion a Code STEMI response.  STEMI stands for segment elevation myocardial infarction.  The Code STEMI response is a coordinated effort between EMS technicians and WakeMed.  When the EMS technician received the results of Jesse's EKG in the ambulance, those results were immediately transmitted to WakeMed.  At WakeMed, the Code STEMI team of emergency cardiac care specialists received the results and stood at the ready to help Jesse upon his arrival in the Emergency Department. 

That coordinated rapid response is probably what saved Jesse's life.  Upon his arrival at WakeMed, Jesse was rushed to the WakeMed Heart Center Cardiac Catheterization Lab, where a cardiologist opened his blocked artery and placed a stent in the area of the blockage to keep the artery open.  He was in and out of the cath lab in under an hour. 

The WakeMed Cardiac Care Unit was Jesse's next stop and where he awoke "feeling good," as he said.  Three weeks later, Jesse was up and about, back at work and playing golf.

That was several years ago.  Today, Jesse continues to garden and stay healthy by eating right and exercising regularly.  He is a very good example of the fact that even when you do take care of yourself, you can still suffer a heart attack. 

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