Former Lufkin ISD Superintendent Shares Miraculous Survival Story
💖Former Lufkin Superintendent Roy Knight suffered a major heart attack in October
💖At the hospital, Knight's heart stopped beating 3 separate times
💖His life was saved by the team of nurses and doctors at St. Luke's in Lufkin
Do you know that the symptoms of a heart attack can vary greatly from person to person? Do you know what the term 'time is muscle' means in the event of cardiac arrest? When it comes to treating you for heart issues, are you aware of the cutting-edge technology and high-level, board-certified cardiologists that are available to you in Lufkin?
Education is the Key
Every February, which is American Heart Month, we team up with St. Luke's Health Memorial in Lufkin for a 'heart takeover' on the Merrell in the Morning Show. We do long-form interviews with leading area cardiologists, nurses, and heart experts to educate the public on how to help avoid heart issues as well as how to best treat them at St. Luke's and through the Heart Institute of East Texas.
It's the type of information that could save a life. It's the type of information that former Lufkin ISD Superintendant Roy Knight got to experience first-hand this past fall. In October 2022, Roy Knight's heart stopped beating not once, not twice, but on three separate occasions while being treated for a heart attack at St. Luke's Health Memorial.
From Playing Golf to Having Mario Andretti As His Driver
Knight had just enjoyed a round of golf in Lufkin and was exercising at his home when he felt pain high in his chest, just below his neck. It was sharp and was getting worse, Knight correctly identified the issue as heart-related.
He took an aspirin and informed his wife of the situation. In recounting his story, Knight was quick to point out that his wife transformed into Mario Andretti and A.J. Foyt in driving her husband to the emergency room at St Luke's.
Arriving at the Emergency Room
Knight arrived at the ER during shift change, which meant he had double the team working to diagnose and treat him. It was a surreal moment for Knight who now knew he was indeed having a heart attack, and he was being treated by some of his former Lufkin ISD students.
The Pain of the Electric Shock
Within minutes of being in the emergency room, Knight's heart stopped beating. Immediately, a nurse straddled him and gave his chest a mighty thump while initiating chest compressions. A few seconds later, the paddles were brought out and his heart was shocked.
Even though he was flatlining, Knight said that he remained cognizant of all that was happening to and around him. He was still conversing with a nurse and he recalled the massive and terrible pain of the electric shock.
Heart Stops a Second Time
His heart resumed beating as the team tried to stabilize him long enough to take him to the operating room to perform life-saving surgery on his heart. Then, his heart stopped beating a second time. Once again, his heart was hit with an electric jolt, and once again Knight felt the awful kick and pain of the procedure. Thankfully, his heart resumed beating.
In The Nick of Time
Roy was wheeled into the operating room where cardiologist Dr. Venkata was preparing to perform surgery. Knight's heart flatlined a third time, and once again, doctors and nurses were able to restart his heart.
Dr. Venkata was then able to operate on Knight. The blockage was cleared and stents were put in place. For this type of procedure, the American Heart Association establishes a baseline of 90 minutes from the time the patient arrives in the emergency room to the time that blood flow is sufficiently restored to the heart.
Dr. Venkata and his team at St. Luke's did it in 40 minutes.
Road to Recovery
Roy Knight looks and feels great. He continues to attend Cardiac Rehab through St. Luke's. He also is very aware that he was on death's doorstep. The largest artery leading to his heart was blocked. This particular type of heart attack is nicknamed 'the widowmaker', for obvious reasons.
Knight realizes that he would not be here today if it were not for the expertise and diligence of the hospital staff, the skill of Dr. Venkata, the amazing driving ability of his wife, and God's intervention.
Roy said that it's obvious that God wants him to be on this Earth for a little longer to serve His purposes, and he hopes that he lives up to those expectations. As Knight told me, "It's good to be seen by my friends, and not viewed."
Learn More About Keeping Your Heart Healthy on KICKS 105
Roy Knight will be recounting his heart attack experiences (as only he can tell) during the St. Luke's Health Memorial morning show takeover on KICKS 105 on Thursday, February 16.
Between 6 am and 10 am, we will be interviewing cardiologists Dr. Musa Khan, Dr. Aditya Saini, and Dr. Ravinder Bachireddy. Others on the show will be Monte Bostwick, Market President and CEO at St Luke's, Nancy (Sanchez) Perez Jacob and Cody Lindsey with Cardiac Rehab, and Jennie Ferguson and Jima Hill who will speak about the upcoming St. Luke's Mega Heart Fair in Lufkin.