Brian Henterline Honors
March of 2018, Brian, Fire Chief for the City of Harrisburg, was working to remove trees at his home with his neighbor. It was a warm day, and he just didn’t feel right. After a while, he felt that he had to stop and rest. He tried to get comfortable in the house – laid on the floor, sat in a chair – and nothing was working.
“I was sweating profusely and I thought, ‘am I having a heart attack? No way. I’m only 43.’”
He soon decided it was time to go to the hospital. When he arrived at the Emergency Department (ED) at UPMC Harrisburg, he was evaluated right away, and it was determined that he was having a heart attack.
“I remember being in the cath lab, under the lights, the needles (which I hate), and that’s it,” shared Brian. “I woke up the next day with a tube in my throat, my wife standing there, and she’s explaining to me what was happening.”
Brian admits that there were symptoms of heart disease that he ignored. What he dismissed as muscle spasms were actually chest pains caused by a 100 percent blockage in his right coronary artery. “I should have been going to the doctor. I should have been getting checked. It nearly cost me my life.”
Luckily, there was an exceptional team of caregivers available to deliver Brian’s life-saving care. “The doctors were great. They explained everything from the ED to the cath lab.” It was Dr. Chang and his assistant who placed a stent in Brian’s artery three weeks after his heart attack. “He and his assistant were there when I came through the ED and both said they wanted to see me through and continue my care.”
Brian believes he is nearly in the best shape of his life now. He and his family are spending more time together, he is staying more active, and he even has plans to run the 2019 Harrisburg Half Marathon as a heart attack survivor.
Brian has a new appreciation for his good health, and for the care available to him at UPMC Central Pa. “They really cared about me. I wasn’t a number or a case. I was a person.”
Many people in our community, like Brian, have had life-changing experiences at UPMC Pinnacle, or a caregiver that has left a lasting impression. If you would like to share your story or salute a member of your care team, the UPMC Pinnacle Foundation encourages you to do so through the Grateful Patient Program. Kind words are a strong source of encouragement for our caregivers, and gifts received through the Grateful Patient Program become instruments of healing for others.
“They really cared about me. I wasn’t a number or a case. I was a person.”