WILD RIDE: Heart Attack at 50+ mph & the Tesla Autodriver

WILD RIDE: Heart Attack at 50+ mph & the Tesla Autodriver


Chuck is a 58 year old engineer. 2
years ago, he was driving home from a workout at the gym. He was – I think he
said US 1 in Florida near Cocoa Beach – developed crushing chest pain. He said,
“You know they say it’s like an elephant sitting on your chest. I had a whole herd
of them sitting on my chest.” He said he got dizzy and decided at that point that
his Tesla auto driver would be safer than him. He took a nitro for the first
time in his life and said I got a lot dizzier. He was able to stop the car at
the side of the road but he wasn’t able to get help. He called his wife and kids
to say goodbye. Now, obviously Chuck as things went
better than they could have. Chuck’s here to give the interview about it but for
those of us who were in the – in the business and effort of trying to prevent
our heart attacks and other people’s heart attacks, there’s maybe a bigger
story. It has to do with Chuck and his diet. He lost – oh gosh, well over 30 pounds on a vegan diet. I believe that was before his heart
attack and he tells a little bit about that for a minute or so before he gets
into this Wild Ride story. Will publish the the full interview a little bit
later to talk about what he did with his diet afterwards. (Chuck:) Overall cholesterol down to 120. I think my LDL was 55 and then a short two and a half years later,
I was working out one day and got been working out in five o’clock in the
afternoon and went back to my office and I just – man, I did not feel good. I’m like…
something’s going on here but I think I’ll just go change clothes, throw my stuff
in the bag, and I’m gonna hit the house. So you’ve been reading to a hospital – I
don’t know. I didn’t have any chest pain at that time. It’s just uncomfortable and
so I proved, for some reason, this is such a crazy story. I always throw my backpack
into trunk and after – after how much – then I always carry my micro with me and I
kept it in my backpack and I had – I always throw my backpack in the trunk
and this day, I threw it in the back seat and I was going home. I get every –
for every mile I went down the road. I felt – Oh, I mean it’s got worse and worse and I finally came to a point, said “You know I think I’m having a heart attack”
and now the – suddenly, the chest pain is coming in pretty strong and so I didn’t
pay this piece but I’ve got a Tesla so I put the Tesla on auto drive. So the car is
driving down the road, I’m having a heart attack, I’m reaching around in the back
seat, grab in my backpack, I pull the nitro out, pull it out – the nitro
tablets go all over the car but fortunately when I’m playing the seats, I
pick it up, pop the Nitro. Well, I had never taken a nitro before. I’ve had them as I think that was an issue but had never taken one. So as you know it’s a vasal dilator and it definitely did the dilation and my blood pressure is off like Wham! And
so now I’m driving down the road – yes, one in the coco, you know fifty miles an
hour, having a heart attack, feel like I’m about to pass out and at that point I said “I’m not gonna make it home. I’m not gonna make it to the Hospital” – which, by the way, it’s only like two to three miles down the road. And so
a point – (Dr. Brewer:) It sounds like one of these, you know you hear the one episode, maybe more now, where the – where the – the Google driver wrecked and killed somebody.
It sounds like it’d save somebody, Maybe more than one. (Chuck:) Yeah, that autopilot helped me that day. I probably should have got off the road a lot sooner but, interesting
thing, I pulled in this parking lot, call 911. You can’t believe how hard it is
to dial 911 when you’re having a heart attack, probably the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. Just
trying to hit the buttons. I hit speed dial a couple times. I finally got them and they
came, they responded very quickly. Laid on the horn, hoping somebody would come help me. Couldn’t get anybody to come help me. They were looking at me but because of
the fact that I was laying on my horn I couldn’t anybody to help me but Bard
County Fire Rescue showed up; did a fantastic job of getting me out of the
car. In the meantime, while I was waiting on them to come. You know, I really thought I was – I was… That old, you know they’d say what a heart attack feels like with
elephants standing on your chest? Well, I had a whole herd of them standing on my
chest and I said this is it. I was able to get my wife – just a couple miles down
the road – was there and I had told her goodbye. I said, you know. “Sorry, I got to do this. This wasn’t planned but I love you. Tell the kids goodbye. and I thought really, at that time, I thought that was
it but fortunately, got me an ambulance; got me down the hospital; it seemed like it took forever but I think a couple minutes and then they had the
crew down there waiting on me, when I walk in the door, they started working
on me and then, the next thing happened that was really just unbelievable. ‘coz my
cardiologist walked in the door and I’m like “Where did you come from?” and he was like “I was just working 24-hour shifts. I was driving down the road…” I don’t know
if Ludie called him or how he heard about it. He just came in and totally took
control of the situation; got me, again, in the operating room and I would say, Dr.
Brewer, from the time this happened – at the time, I had that third spin right
above the first two that they had in my LED, they sucked the clot out and they put
the skin in. I’m gonna say was no more than 40. (Dr. Brewer:) Wow
(Chuck:) The great news about fatty, my ejection fraction is still the same as at the
time the 56 year old male. So I didn’t have any heart –
(Dr. Brewer:) No damage. (Chuck:) Miraculous. I mean you’ve – God took care of me that day or a whole a
lot of things lined up really, really – like could’ve gone really, really bad. So
that’s sort of my adventures, if you will, with cardiovascular disease up and build
a heart attack and then, after the heart attack, it sort of been a journey if you will
to come up with an approach that, in my mind, is an engineer’s –
statistic – you know, statistically I want to do the best thing I can do with my
health so that I know that I’m doing everything I can do based on the data
that’s out there today. The way they want to look him. That’s sort of what happened.
(Dr. Brewer:) So I told you it was a wild ride. Again, for those of us working to prevent heart
attacks and strokes, the rest of the story is in many ways more important.
Chuck began to look at his blood sugar, despite having lost, again way over 30
pounds with a vegan diet. He noticed that his fasting blood sugar was over a
hundred. His cardiologist noticed it and said “You’ve got a little bit of sugar,
you probably should talk to your primary care Doc” Chuck then started looking at
some things. He found on the Internet this channel and some other things and
started to look at his triglyceride over HDL ratio.
It was beyond 1 – a safe level; beyond 2 which is not a safe level. It was
five. So Chuck got very focused on looking at blood sugar and we’ll cover
that in depth a little bit later in Wild Ride – The Full Interview. Thank you. FULL INTERVIEW COMING OUT ON JUNE 10, 2019 – Subscribe to Ford Brewer MD MPH to get updates