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Heart survivor shares story ahead of Eau Claire Virtual Heart Walk Sept. 19

Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 3:17 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Marty Decker of Eau Claire is a heart attack survivor. He says the diagnosis in February 2019 caught him by surprise.

“I didn’t really feel like I had the traditional heart attack moment if you will, but I came in from work one Friday afternoon. My wife said you don’t look good, you look gray. She said let’s take you to urgent care, and get it looked at, and I said okay,” said Decker.

He didn’t have a family history, his blood pressure was okay, he wasn’t excessively overweight, and he didn’t show any classic heart attack symptoms.

Decker says he asked the doctor if she was sure she got the right guy.

“She looked right at me and said you did have a heart attack, just so you know. I was like okay thank you very much, now that’s cleared up,” he said.

Decker’s urgent care visit turned into a six-day hospital stay, which included triple bypass surgery at Marshfield Medical Center in Eau Claire.

Following surgery, Decker was off work for three and a half months, during which time he did cardiac rehab. He lost 60 pounds. In June 2019, he was able to go back to his job at Walmart. Decker says he’s changed his diet to include more chicken, fish, and vegetables. He also walks or bikes at least 30 minutes every day.

“It’s been quite a journey, but a very wonderful outcome,” said Decker.

His advice is to make changes now, before it costs you your life.

“If you can do it now, and avoid a lot of those things, you’ll be much better off in the long run. You’ll be healthier too, and live a probably happier, more fulfilled life,” he said.

The annual Eau Claire Heart Walk will not be happening at Carson Park this year because of COVID-19. However, you can still support the American Heart Association. The Eau Claire Virtual Heart Walk is Saturday, September 19.

You’re encouraged to get out and walk - wherever you are. This year’s heart walk goal is to raise $45,000 for the AHA. Click here to register or to make a donation.

Copyright 2020 WEAU. All rights reserved.

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