Posted to Facebook November 11, 2019 (3 months after Wayne died)
This Tuesday marks three months since we lost Wayne. For those who didn’t know, he had a family history of heart disease. His maternal grandmother died of a heart attack at age 43, her brother died of a heart attack at 40, and their dad, Wayne’s great-grandfather died of a heart attack at just 39!
And because of those shocking stats, Wayne was VERY proactive when it came to his health. He worked out hard 3-4 times a week, ate lots of raw veggies, measured his food, even drank Super Beets! He saw his doctor regularly and six weeks prior to his death, his doctor said, “I wish all 47-year-olds were in as good a shape as you.”
But guess what? That didn’t matter. God’s plan was to take him home on August 14, 2018. I can’t question that. But I can find goodness and mercy in each person’s life and I know that God is in ultimate control of every, single day He gives us.
Below is an email I received a few weeks ago from our friend, Jerry Finn. It will give you chills. And hopefully motivate you and/or your loved ones to take action when it comes to heart health.
Natalie, I wanted to take a moment and share with you an only GOD story. I wanted you and the boys to know how Wayne’s life has in turn saved my own. I, like so many others, was shocked at the news of Wayne’s passing. Wayne is really the first person in my peer group this has happened to, and his passing not only shocked me, it quite frankly scared me. I know Wayne made staying in shape a priority, and had recently had his physical with a clean bill of health. I thought WOW, if this can happen to Wayne Reid, this can happen to me.
At Wayne’s celebration of life gathering, it was glaringly evident how many lives Wayne had impacted during his time here. It was such a beautiful celebration and Ursula and I both admired how courageous and strong you were, and the words which you spoke. The point I wanted to convey is that Wayne is STILL impacting lives from Heaven. In the days that followed I made it a priority to learn about what I could do to get a clear picture of my own cardiac health. It was solely because of Wayne’s passing that I began this endeavor. I was not having any signs or symptoms that would lead me to believe anything was wrong. I’ve had a family history of heart disease and have always had borderline cholesterol and hyper tension, but again no symptoms like shortness of breath, feeling faint, nothing…
In short, I discovered a procedure know as a Coronary Calcium Scan, it’s not covered by insurance and not heavily touted, as it is a wellness procedure. Insurance and drug companies don’t make money on wellness, so that explains why I had never heard of the procedure. Once I received the referral from my primary doc I headed over to get my scan. Turns out it cost a measly $95 and took less than 10 minutes! My doctor called me the next morning to come in so he could review the results. The scan results come back in the form of a numerical score. A 46 year old male should have a score of zero… a score of 50 is cause for concern… a score of 100 or more is a definite red flag. My score came back at 1333!! My doctor said he had never seen anything like it and immediately referred me to a Cardiologist.
I met with the Cardiologist and based on such a ridiculously high score, it was decided that the best next step would be to have a heart cath put in. I went last week Monday for the heart cath and thank God that I did. During the procedure they found 90% blockage in my right coronary artery and 90% blockage in my left coronary artery (commonly referred to as the widow maker). My Cardiologist immediately was able to place 3 stents in my heart PRIOR to what was certain to be a catastrophic event. With the amount of blockage that was relieved, left untreated I was truly nearing the end of the 4th quarter and most likely would not have gotten a shot at overtime. I can honestly say that had it not been for Wayne, I would have never set into motion the series of events described above. I told Ursula as I was in recovery that all I could think about was Wayne Reid. Wayne’s life truly saved mine.
Wow, Jerry’s story is incredible, isn’t it???
Here was my very raw and real response to his email:
Jerry, thank you for sharing this with me. I know your story will impact others…and potentially save lives.
That being said, I want to be honest with you. When I read this, I immediately got so sad and mad. I once again questioned why Wayne’s doctor didn’t have HIM get that scan. Why we hadn’t been more proactive, knowing Wayne’s family history, to spend the ‘measly $95’ to save HIS life. Why did Wayne have to die when fat, unhealthy men get decades more years to be with their kids? All those ‘why’ questions will never be answered this side of heaven and I just have to deal with it. And it stinks. Did you read my blog post where I shared this:
‘These last few weeks since his death have been strange. From doing OK and “grieving well” (which caused me to question the depth of my love for my husband); to spiraling down into a deep, dark place of wondering what we could’ve done differently or if his heart attack could’ve been prevented — questions obviously planted by the Evil One trying to destroy me with guilt, bitterness and anger.’
It’s hard to push on without him. But I pray Wayne’s life and death, plus your testimony will impact others.
I read through Wayne’s 5-page autopsy report (yeah, lots of tears that day) and this is what they discovered:
- There was a 30-40% narrowing of right coronary artery due to atherosclerotic plaque.
- There was a 90-95% narrowing of left anterior descending coronary artery occlusion of the distal left circumflex by plaque and apparent thrombus.
That’s correct, Wayne had LESS blockage than Jerry. It is a miracle Jerry is still with us and I’m thankful he took steps to prevent heartbreak for his family.
Please share Wayne and Jerry’s stories. It could save someone’s life.
And now, go get your own test. If not for yourself, do it for your family.