CONWAY, Ark. – A man woke up in the middle of the night with chest pain. It wasn’t like anything he’s ever experienced before, so his wife drove him to the emergency room. 

There he learned he was having a heart attack but didn’t realize it because he wasn’t experiencing the common symptom. 

Phillip Alaman, 41, of Searcy, has come a long way in just a few short months.

“It felt like somebody was pulling my lungs through my ribs,” says Phillip.

One night after experiencing chest pain, he took over the counter medicine. 

But the pain didn’t go away after 30 minutes, so he went to a hospital in Heber Springs and was then rushed to Baptist Health in Conway. 

“Dr. Gojer, when he got involved he recognized it as a heart attack and got me to the cath lab,” Alaman says.

What’s interesting about Phillip’s case is he thought the pain was stemming from bronchitis he was just getting over, saying the pain felt like indigestion. 

While each patient varies, arm pain is one of the classic signs of a heart attack but Phillip says he didn’t experience that. 

“His EKG was normal so it wasn’t making a lot of sense. Usually, when we see somebody having acute heart attack they have fairly definitive EKG changes,” says Dr. Bernard Gojer.

The Baptist Health cardiologist said despite that it was important to act quickly and take him to the cath lab immediately. 

“His blockage was in the circumflex artery and it was completely closed at that point,” says Dr. Gojer. 

Dr. Gojer used a catheter to place a stent in the artery and cleared the blockage. 

“Immediate relief as soon as he got the stent in. I could feel the pain start to subside. So he’s a godsend,” says Alaman.

Now, Phillip is going to regular check ups and looking towards a lifestyle to help keep his heart healthy.