On Valentine's Day 2021, Danny Tucker preached at his church. He felt good. His heart and soul had been revived from a week-long trip to the beach where he and his wife celebrated their wedding anniversary. One day they even walked six miles along the sandy shore. But on February 15, everything changed.
After a morning of visiting with church families, his chest started hurting. The pain was intense. It eased, but then worsened. He called for his wife and told her he needed to go to the hospital. She asked if he wanted her to drive him to Rome. He told her no and instructed her to drive him to Polk Medical Center, less than four miles from their home.
Polk is a Chest Pain Center, and the staff took quick action as soon as the Tuckers arrived. Danny remembers being on gurney. An army of clinicians surrounded him, connecting him to medicines and machines to confirm what they suspected. Danny, who had no history of heart disease, no shortness of breath, was having a heart attack.
His initial EKG was concerning, although it did not show a blockage or heart attack. The chest pain continued, and a second EKG confirmed that the Cedartown pastor had a lethal rhythm. He was having a heart attack.
Suddenly, Danny's heart stopped beating.
Long-time Polk nurse Pam Meers quickly delivered an electric shock to Danny's chest, reviving him, and he was soon whisked by ambulance to Floyd Medical Center in Rome, a sister hospital of Polk Medical Center.
At Floyd, Danny was rushed to the cardiac catheterization lab where Harbin Clinic cardiologist Dr. Hector Picon was waiting to guide a tiny stent into his artery—the one they call the widow maker. It was completely blocked.
He went home after a two-day stay in Floyd's Intensive Care Unit. After he was discharged, Danny returned to Polk, this time for cardiac rehab.
The Faith Missionary Baptist Church pastor is quick to offer praise for the care he received, including the ambulance crew who brought him to Rome and the Floyd Medical Center staff who cared for him. But, he is especially thankful for the Polk Medical Center Emergency Department that brought him back to life.
“I wouldn't have made it if that little hospital hadn't been over there," he later said. “By the grace of God and the help of the doctors and the hospital, I made it, and I thank God for that.
“If we had called an ambulance, if it had happened anywhere else or any other way, it wouldn't have worked out."