It was March 14, 2020. Just days before much of Lancaster County would start to shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For Jobany “Jio” Bedoya, it was a typical Saturday evening. The active 38-year-old Ephrata man was playing soccer at a local sports complex, looking forward to spending the rest of the weekend with his wife and three children. What followed in the hours and months ahead; however, was anything but typical.
Heart Attack Symptoms Developed Quickly
As the match was winding down, Jio started feeling uncharacteristically fatigued and was experiencing what he describes as mild indigestion or heartburn.
“I just thought I had pushed myself too hard and sat on the bench for a few minutes until I regained enough energy to walk to the car and start my drive home.”
“About five to 10 minutes later, I started feeling a lot worse,” recalled Jio, who pulled over in a convenience store parking lot and called his wife. “She told me to stay put and called the ambulance.”
In the Emergency Department at Lancaster General Hospital, Jio went into cardiac arrest.
“I was literally dead for 2 minutes,” he said. “I wouldn’t be here today if this had happened somewhere else.”
Jio underwent a cardiac catheterization. A stent was inserted in an artery which had a 90% blockage. He was discharged the next day and began his recovery during very unique times.
Making Healthy Changes with Virtual Guidance
A heart attack was the last thing Jio ever expected to be facing. He was young and considered himself pretty healthy and in shape, although his blood pressure had been a little high and he had some family history of heart disease.
Because of the restrictions in place in the early days of the pandemic, Jio’s first two follow-up appointments with The Heart Group of Lancaster General Health were telemedicine visits. He was grateful to be able to receive care without potentially exposing himself to the coronavirus.
Jio began making the healthy lifestyle changes that were recommended, particularly around diet, and encouraged his extended family members to do the same.
“We all got serious about making changes,” Jio said. “Our Latino diet tends to include a lot of meat, starches and carbs, and not many greens.”
Jio started eating better, cut back on sodium and sugar, and lost 20 pounds. He also began a gradual program of exercise—walking, hiking and biking. Three months after his heart attack, Jio was feeling great, enjoying a 13-mile ride on the rail trail near his home.
In-Person Care at The Heart Group
Jio continues regular appointments at The Heart Group, now in person. Even though COVID-19 is still present in the community, he is very comfortable due to the all the precautions the practice put in place to keep everyone safe.
“You’re greeted with sanitizer and masks, just one patient goes in at a time, and everything is disinfected in the exam rooms,” he said. “Not once did I fear that I was unsafe.”