Port Charlotte man’s life saved after heartburn symptoms lead to major discovery

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A man in Charlotte County is thankful he’s alive after a major blockage was discovered near his heart.

“I was actually dying every day, and I did not know it,” said retired police officer Robert Meyerholz.

Meyerholz was one of the officers who arrested Jim Morrison of The Doors back in 1967. But despite a life in law enforcement, it’s what happened in retirement that nearly killed him.

“My whole life is changed,” he said.

Meyerholz dealt with what he thought was just heartburn for years until doctors discovered a blockage on the left side of his heart during a routine physical.

While in the hospital for surgery, he nearly died.

“What if I had just not mentioned that? I wouldn’t be here, because that night my heart stopped,” Meyerholz said.

Dr. Lewis Rosenfield with Bayfront Health says he would like more patients to pay closer attention to their symptoms.

“One third don’t make it anywhere, because they ignore the symptoms of heartburn, chest pain, shortness of breath or no symptoms at all,” he said.

And he adds that holding off on talking to a doctor could prove to be deadly.

But in Meyerholz’s case, he was saved by talking with his doctors who placed a stent to clear the blockage.

“My wife is very grateful. It’s brought us closer together! We’ve only been married 63 years,” Meyerholz said.

And he hopes changing his lifestyle to be more heart healthy will lead to many more happy years spent together.

In addition to heartburn, doctors say blocked arteries can also cause shortness of breath, dizziness and nausea.

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