One Man – One View

August 23, 2015

My Heart Attack Story

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It’s 2 AM and I’m sleeping next to my wife.  I awaken to a pain in the lowest part of my sternum. It is uncomfortable enough to make me get up and head out to the couch. I try to lay down on the couch for a few minutes and the pain won’t cease. I try sitting up on the couch and immediately become nauseous. I go into the bathroom and vomit. This awakens my wife and she asks what is wrong.

I’m back in the living room sitting in a recliner. I’m getting sweaty.  I explain to my wife what I’m feeling which is this incessant part in the lowest part of my sternum. Of course the thought of a heart attack crossed my mind but I had pretty much ruled it out. I was a cop and I’ve literally seen people die of heart attacks. I was an EMT and was trained related to the symptoms of a heart attack but this seemed different. There was no pain mid-chest, no crushing pain, shortness of breath or pain in the jaw or arms. Certainly this pain was different. I thought to myself that it was too low to be a heart attack. It also seemed to be too high for any stomach issues. It was just different!

I sent my wife back to bed and told her I would be ok which is a classic guy move- a potentially fatal guy move. After about an hour of this pain not getting any better I found myself torn between not wanting to make big deal out of nothing or seeking treatment. I’ve experienced a lot in my life from a medical/injury perspective. What bothered me the most was that this was a pain unlike anything I had ever experienced. Don’t get me wrong in that I’ve experienced much greater pain  but again this was different.

I went back to my wife and let her know that I thought I should go to the hospital. We were out the door quickly and drove about five miles to the hospital. The pain did not lessen or increase but was a constant. Walking into the ER reception/intake area about 3AM I saw that there the waiting room was pretty busy but as it turns out when an overweight 55 year old man walks in clutching his chest you get to cut the line!

A wheel chair was quickly brought to me and I was whisked into a trauma bay. My wife was with me the whole time and even at this point I was convinced this was going to be a waste of time. Surely at some point the pain was going to go away and I would be sent home.

There were two nurses there who hooked me up to an EKG. Immediately one nurse said “That doesn’t look right!” Her reaction was so quick that I thought that there was a problem with the EKG machine. Within a second or so of her saying that the other nurse rips off the paper coming out of the machine and literally ran out of the trauma bay with it. That was indeed my “uh-oh” moment!

A Doctor immediately came rushing into the room with other nurses and said “You’re having a heart attack and it’s about to get really busy in here!” I was told the Cardiac Cath team was being called in from home. I looked over at my wife and she reflected a look that I no doubt had. A look of shock, confusion and fear. I told her that she should probably call my kids and my sister.

The sequence of what happened next is a blur but two IV’s were started on my left arm. I was given what seemed like a handful of aspirin. A tab of Nitro was placed under my tongue. I was constantly asked if the pain was better and it wasn’t. I had two more doses of Nitro with very minimal relief. I was then given IV morphine which did not touch my pain.

Within what seemed like just a few minutes a Cardiac Surgeon and his two cardiac nurses came into the room. They definitely looked like they just woken up. There was a lack of normal niceties. The surgeon affirmed that I was having a heart attack and that they needed to get me right up to the Cath Lab to save me! It was so quick that Deb and I weren’t even afforded the opportunity so say goodbye to each other. I was moved at a high rate of speed to the Cath Lab. More and more it was clear to me that like my pain- this reaction was different. This was clearly life and death!

As soon as we were in the lab I was told that I would be awake during the procedure. I was put onto a table and was not able to see much because of large pieces of equipment that were literally in my face. The procedure took an hour and a half. They created a small opening in my wrist and went into my radial artery. A line was snaked from that artery and into my heart. What was determined was that I had a 100% blockage of the heart’s artery that feeds the back of my heart. Simply put my heart was dying and so was I.

In a miracle of science the Surgeon was able to feed two mesh stents into my wrist and all the way into the exact spot where my artery was not working. The artery was opened back up and those two medical mesh stents were implanted into that area to let the blood flow once again. Once that was done I felt an instant relief to my pain. The surgeon and nurses had just saved my life- as simple as that. I was brought to the Intensive Care Unit and spent two days there. I was released from the hospital on day three.

Now there is so much more I can say about this experience and how my personal faith played into this experience but I don’t want you as the reader to be turned off by that. What I want is for the reader- especially men- to learn from this. I especially ask that men pay attention because as we all know they are in most circumstances less smart than females!

Please, please do not try to be the macho cool guy and ignore symptoms- even if they aren’t what you would expect them to be. Many men are found dead in their recliners with a Tums bottle next to them. Pay attention and react to what you feel. If not for you then for your loved ones that you may leave behind.

As for me the story is still being written. I am just four days post heart attack. Early on I am told that there was “hardly noticeable damage” to my heart. This is because we took action quickly. Within about an hour and a half of the onset of symptoms I was in the Cath Lab.  The quicker action is taken the more likely you will fare well.

In hindsight and after discussions with the medical staff the only thing we should have changed was using an ambulance for transport. In an ambulance they can do an EKG and have the Cath Team activated even before your arrival at the hospital.

The story of my outcome is still being written. When I woke up this morning I decided I could make my heart attack be one of the worst days of my life or one of the best. I choose to make it the best.

October 5, 2014

Chester N. DuPont Sr.’s Slide Show

Filed under: Uncategorized — onemanoneview @ 6:37 PM

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Click on this link below to download the Power Point slide show. Simply open the file and then click on Slide Show and From the Beginning to play

Chester DuPont Sr. Slide Show

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Eulogy for Chester N. DuPont Sr.

Filed under: Family,religion,Uncategorized — onemanoneview @ 1:01 PM

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In the course of a normal eulogy one would talk about the deceased, tell about their life’s accomplishments and tell a funny story or two about the person.

In trying to write this eulogy about my Dad in that manner it just never seemed right to do it in that way. I literally spent hours struggling with the process. It then occurred to me that I was trying to tell my Dad’s life story when instead I should tell my Dad’s greatest life lessons.

I will indeed cover some points about his life as they were indeed significant but I then I want to move to the most important part of this eulogy which will cover two great life lessons that my Dad taught me in his final days on earth.

My Dad grew up in an extremely poor family. My Dad’s formal education ended somewhere around the fourth grade. Even he would agree that the greatest moment in his life was when he met my Mom. This lifelong partnership lasted fifty-six years.

As to his vocation my Dad became a self-taught musician who played the drums in bands for many years. He was also a self-taught professional photographer that specialized in weddings.

Wanting to do even more with their lives both my mother and my father put themselves through real estate school and founded “DuPont Realty” in North Adams MA. He was once named the Berkshire County Realtor of the year and was also president of the Berkshire County Board of Realtors.

Once my family decided to relocate to Connecticut my father decided to follow his love of music into a new career path as he became a traveling DJ for weddings and events in the area.

As to family my Mom and Dad had two great kids- my sister Candy and I. Undoubtedly I was the favorite child but both of my parents did their best to make it seem like they loved us equally. From there came my wife Deb and Candy’s husband Steve, seven grandchildren and a great grandson as well. With certainty both my Mom and Dad loved all of us greatly and were very proud of us. That is never something that should be left to question.

Later in life my Dad suffered through many years of difficult medical conditions. Throughout that transition into old age my mother was his rock- as she had been at every point in their relationship. He relied upon my mom in so many ways. She was his constant. She was his core. She was his everything.

And then one day she died.

My Mom’s death left a gaping hole in his heart. From that day forward he wore around his neck her crucifix with her wedding ring on the same chain. He refused to remove it even for a second. Even when going in for surgeries he was told that it had to be removed and he would throw such a fit that they always allowed it to stay on him.

The last couple months of my Dad’s life were, simply put, horrible for him due to his medical issues. As it became clear that the end was near Candy and I stayed with him for the last eight days of his life 24/7 in the nursing home. Throughout that time we were able to meet many of the men and women who were his caregivers. Some had known him for years and some for just a short time. All said pretty much the same thing about him. They said that there was something about him that caused them to immediately love him. Then almost always that was followed up with something like “of course there were times when he could be rather difficult but we still loved him.”

And here comes the keeping it real part of the eulogy.

Anyone who really did know my Dad knew that there were also times when he could indeed be a difficult man. My sister Candy dealt with these times in a far better way than I did. Her patience with him during those times was beyond my ability to understand and I really do commend her for that.

Dad and I frequently butted heads and I was far less tolerant of the difficult side of my father. I finally came to the realization that I wasn’t always required to like my father but I was required to love him no matter what- and love him I did. I came to accept that family relationships are not always about Hallmark moments and Norman Rockwell pictures.

But there is a great lesson here for all of us as we sit here today. As the great theologian Yogi Berra once said “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

Those eight days that Candy and I spent with our Dad in the nursing home were as absolutely horrible as you could expect. Yet that horror was worth it all for the sake of two moments in time. Two moments in time that served to show God’s grace and mercy not just for my Dad but for Candy and I as well.

Lesson #1-

As I sat there watching my father die I was of very saddened by what I was watching him go through. Even at that time I was still carrying a certain amount of anger and resentment towards my Dad because of some of our mutual history. It was a terrible conflux of emotions that I was experiencing. Sympathy, sadness and indeed anger and resentment as well.

At that point my Dad could barely speak – doing so in but a whisper at best. Then in one moment, in one moment in time, he tried to speak to me. I leaned close in to hear and he softly said “I’m sorry. Sometimes I’ve made bad choices.”

My Dad was never one to apologize but in that one single moment he was able to wipe away all of the anger and all of the resentment that I had felt towards him. As a Christian when someone offers a sincere apology to you you’re obligated to forgive- and forgive I did. I was able in his last cognitive moments of life to assure him that I did indeed forgive him and that I did indeed love him.

So in his final moments he taught me the great lesson that it’s never too late to apologize to someone you have hurt and in turn it’s never too late to repair relationships.

Lesson #2-

Beyond personality issues there was always a concern as to if my Dad had a saving faith in God. As a Christian there’s little that saddens you more than imagining someone that you love not having the hope of eternal life in Heaven. Of knowing that you may be deprived of the hope of one day being reunited in Heaven with someone you love- someone like my Dad.

In the final hours of being conscious we did have the chance to talk to Dad about heaven and about faith. About the hope that he could be reunited in heaven with my mom, with Sam, with Aunt Marion and so many others who left this life with what appeared to be a saving faith in Christ.

At one point when we were talking to him about that Candy leaned in close and asked him if he believed that he was a sinner. To that my Dad clearly answered “yes.” She then asked if he believed that Jesus died for his sins to which he clearly answered “yes.” Candy then assured him that was all it took to be assured of entrance to Heaven.

In criminal law there’s something known as a deathbed confession. What this relates to is a confession that is given by a person who knows that they are literally about to die. This is considered sworn testimony that can be used in a court of law. The reason that can be used is it is known that when a person knows that death is imminent all the reasons to lie fall away. Personal preservation, monetary gain, pride, manipulation and so many other factors that cause us to be dishonest simply peel away just prior to death. There is no reason to lie. What is uttered at ones last moments is considered to be absolute truth.

With that understanding I have no conclusion to come to other than the fact that my father’s confession of sin and faith in God was indeed a genuine one. So life lesson # 2 that my father taught me was that it is never, ever too late to come to a saving relationship with God.

So in summary please let me share my final thoughts about my father.

He was a man who, like you and I was sometimes grossly imperfect. He was a man who loved his family and like you and I sometimes failed to articulate that as well or as often as he should have. He was a man who like you and I, sometimes made- as he put it- “bad choices.”

Yet despite all of this in his final moments on earth became a great teacher for me and hopefully for you as well.
His deathbed examples teaches that it is never too late mend relationships with those that you love and those that you have hurt.
Most importantly he was a living, and dying illustration of the fact that it’s never too late to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord and to gain the hope of eternal life in Heaven.

The one thing I would ask all of you not to do is wait to put these plans into action on your death bed. Put them into action today!

Repair damaged relationships with your loved ones today!

Repair your relationship with God today! Give yourself the gift of time to enjoy your family and your God while you are still on this earth.

Oh how I am saddened that I do not have a single day more on this earth with my father. Yet thanks to his final and humble lessons I now have joy in the hope of seeing him again one day in Heaven.

Written by Chester DuPont Jr. (Son)

May 5, 2012

First Congregational Church Merrimack Spring 2012 Work Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — onemanoneview @ 12:43 PM

June 21, 2011

The Snowflake Inn, Jackson, NH

Filed under: Family,Uncategorized — onemanoneview @ 8:02 PM

http://www.thesnowflakeinn.com/

May 1, 2011

Deep Sea fishing trip 1/May/2011

Filed under: Family,sports,Uncategorized — onemanoneview @ 7:58 PM

April 16, 2011

First Congregational Church Merrimack Spring 2011 Work Day

Filed under: Family,religion,Uncategorized — onemanoneview @ 7:25 PM

[slid

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November 27, 2010

First Congregational Church Merrimack 2010 Pre-Winter Church Family Event

Filed under: Family,religion,Uncategorized — onemanoneview @ 9:28 PM

July 3, 2010

Uncle Bear’s Lesson in Kindness

Filed under: Family,religion,Uncategorized,Writing — onemanoneview @ 1:56 PM

Last week I was on vacation in Florida and found myself in a very undesirable place- a swimming pool.  I haven’t been a fan of the beach or pool ever since the Coast Guard tried to tow me back into the surf- but that’s a story for a different day.

I’m at the pool because my little nephew shames me into going to their community pool at least one time while I’m visiting on vacation. This is a huge pool in a large community development with a lot of people. After about thirty minutes of undivided attention my nephew  comes to realize that I wasn’t nearly as fun as expected and he goes off to play with his friends. Great news!

If nothing else at least now I can have some peace and quiet while staying mostly submerged avoiding the inevitable sunburn that average white boys like me are destined for. Minutes into this solitary bliss a little kid about five years old powers over next to me with the aid of his swimmies and starts staring at me He then says “will you play with me?”

Ok- I’d like to think I’m a nice guy but in my head I’m thinking- are you kidding me? Giant pool- tons of people and you want to have play time with me? Me? Go away and leave me alone! At least that is what I’m thinking but instead I blatantly lie and simply say “sure!”

What follows was a nightmare trilogy consisting of me, this kid and his pool toys. “Throw me the ball and I’ll catch it.” “When I catch it twenty-one times I win.” The kid didn’t tell me until after he reached twenty-one the full tournament would start with multiple games that I always managed to lose. Then it was on to the plastic rings that I had to throw and he’d retrieve like a demented Lab for me to throw again and again and again…. I’d politely try to end the games but he simply ignored me and continued on. This process easily went on for over a two hour period. If there were pens in the pool I would have surely stuck one in my eye.

Well into this water nightmare after I had lost yet another game of catch with him the kid’s sister who’s about ten years old swims over to me. The sister who had been playing with her friends then provides me with a life lesson that I should not soon forget. She starts by telling me that she knows that I’m letting her brother win in all of these games. I feign denial but she knows the truth.

The sister then tells me that I remind her and her brother of their Uncle Bear. Sis says that Uncle Bear “used” to play with her brother just like I was now. She that says “Uncle Bear died last year” and with those words she swims away.

In that moment God answered the question “why me.”

If but for a moment, I had been presented with the opportunity to be Uncle Bear for that kid. Maybe, just maybe, I had for a short period of time been used as an instrument of comfort and peace for that little kid. Maybe God just taught me a lesson about doing the right thing- even when the right thing doesn’t conform to my own desires.

Since that day I have come to wonder how many Uncle Bear moments I have dismissed in the past. Rarely do we know of all of the opportunities we have to bring a bit of happiness to complete strangers with our simple words and actions.

My lesson is now shared with you. Always be vigilant for your Uncle Bear moments for you never know when they will be presented to you.

RIP Uncle Bear.

May 22, 2010

Church Work Day 2010

Filed under: Family,religion,Uncategorized — onemanoneview @ 9:20 PM

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