Kirk Shumpert

Kirk Shumpert with dogKirk Shumpert was at a barrel race in Houston with his family Nov. 2, 2019, when his chest started hurting and he had trouble catching his breath.

“I had run a 5K the weekend before with my daughter and had no issues,” said the 50-year-old veterinarian who owns Pet Wellness Center in Tupelo. “I have always been active.” His wife drove him to Trace Regional Hospital in Houston, where a nurse practitioner told them he was having a heart attack and sent him by ambulance to North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo.

He went from NMMC’s Emergency Department to the Chest Pain Center, where staff closely monitored him until tests confirmed the heart attack. The next morning, Kirk went to the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, where doctors discovered he had 100% blockage in one coronary artery and placed a stent to restore blood flow. He was discharged home that night, took a week off to recover, then returned to work the next Monday.

“Everything has been good since then,” Kirk said. “Looking back, I do remember getting short of breath sometimes when I was rounding up horses and would have to walk back up a hill. I thought I had maybe just gotten a little out of shape. I realize that I was super lucky.” 

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For an appointment with a heart or vascular specialist, call 1-800-THE DESK (1-800-843-3375).