David Voda

David Voda’s symptoms started on a Friday. But it wasn’t until the following Monday that the Alexandria business owner decided to get to the Emergency Room at Rapides Regional Medical Center.

“I had had shortness of breath all weekend, so before I went in to work on Monday, I decided to exercise a little and see what would happen. As soon as I started exercising, the pain started and I knew what was happening.”

Once Voda arrived in the Emergency Room and was settled into a room, he collapsed with a small heart attack.

Four days later, Voda – who was 43 at the time – was scheduled for a double bypass. That was three years ago.

“My mother and father both had bypass surgery – but they were in their 60s when it happened,” Voda said. “I knew I was going to have heart problems, but I didn’t know I was going to have problems this early.”

Today, Voda exercises five days a week, keeps up with his blood pressure and cholesterol and takes an aspirin a day.

“Looking back on it, thank goodness I decided to get help when I did,” Voda said. “Every day, I’m a walking miracle.”