Dr. Dove was a visionary.
I had my first heart attack at age 35 on Labor Day of 1978. I was taken to Decatur Memorial Hospital with very bad chest pain, but eventually sent to St. John’s in Springfield. Dr. Dove became my cardiologist at that time. He found several blockages and put in two stents. At the time, Dr. Dove told me that there will come a day when we will be able to prevent heart problems by changing the way we eat, quitting smoking, and exercising more. So I did that because that is what he told me to do. I quit smoking cold turkey. My wife and I started weighing my food and eating only what we were supposed to eat, and I started riding my bike 22 miles a day. I still do not smoke. I still eat the way I am supposed to eat, but I only walk 4 miles a day. I am 75 years old now.
Since the first heart problems that Dr. Dove helped me with, I have had more stents and even triple bypass surgery. When I had the bypass surgery, Dr. Shelton sat at the foot of my hospital bed and said to me, “Buddy, we don’t even understand how you are still alive…after heart attack in 1978, most people would not have lived 10 years past that.” I told him it’s because I did what I was told to do by him and Dr. Dove.
Even though I have had more stents and bypass surgery and have lost 3 brothers, I have been married 57 years, retired from Firestone at age 52 after working there for 30 years, have 3 children and 1 grandchild. I still walk 4 miles a day. I participate in local parades with my horses and give wagon rides. I love to get up every morning and take care of my yard and my horses.