Surviving a Heart Attack and Returning to his Passions

At 71 years old, Keith Ingram still enjoys doing the things he did when he was younger. As a former professional motorcycle and car racer, Keith lived for thrills. But when he suffered from a heart attack in 2004, his adventures were put on hold. Northwest Texas Healthcare System helped get him back on his feet and now, 11 years later, Keith is back to living the same active lifestyle he enjoyed before his heart attack.

 

The healthcare professionals at Northwest Texas Healthcare System acted quickly, and Keith Ingram survived a heart attack.

On October 29, 2004, Keith was mountain biking at Palo Duro Canyon, about 25 miles outside of Amarillo. During the first two days of the ride his shoulder hurt, but he thought the pain was the result of breaking his shoulder a few times over the years. So he didn’t think anything of it. “On the third day of our ride, it was hurting a lot worse and after one big climb, my left arm went completely numb and I wasn’t feeling well at all. One of the guys riding with me told me I looked like a grey sheet. I had no color at all,” Ingram says.

His riding partner drove them to Northwest Texas Healthcare System, and Ingram told the front desk he thought he was having a heart attack. He was hooked to an EKG before doctors took him for an angiogram and catheterization. His active lifestyle may have saved Ingram from a worse outcome. “I am very active. I race cars and motorcycles. I mountain bike and I run marathons. The doctors could see my blockage, but they could also see that my heart created its own bypasses to counteract my blockages. That probably saved my life.” In order to continue living the active lifestyle Ingram enjoyed, doctors told him they could perform double bypass surgery on his heart.

“That would allow me to live my life the way I was used to. Running, biking and racing,” said Ingram. “I, of course, opted for the bypass.” He was released several days after the surgery and just days afterward, Ingram found himself right back on his bike, ready to ride. Today, he is just as active as he was then, maybe even more than before. He recently completely a 100 mile bike race at the age of 71, 10 years after the heart attack. “Northwest Texas Healthcare System quite simply saved my life. Without them I could have had a different outcome. They knew exactly what I needed and saved my life.”

Learn about the Heart Hospital at Northwest Texas Healthcare System >