University Health Care System
(706) 722-9011

Ryan Paquette

When you’re 29 years old, a heart attack is the last thing you’d think would happen to you.

Unfortunately for Ryan Paquette, he became one of the nearly 8 million people every year who suffer a heart attack.

Mr. Paquette was out hunting with a friend Thanksgiving afternoon when he said he began to feel something out of the ordinary.

“It just felt like this burning pain in the center of my chest that just wasn't going away,” he said.

He eventually called his wife, who insisted he meet her in University Hospital’s Emergency Department.

What they found shocked the 29-year-old. Mr. Paquette was having a heart attack and his ejection fraction had dropped from a normal 50-55 percent to about 44 percent. Mr. Paquette had surgery to have a stent inserted and, as quickly as possible, began rehabilitation at University Hospital’s Cardiac Rehabilitation program.

“Everyone has just been wonderful, both in the hospital and at rehab,” Mr. Paquette said. “I always have a million questions to ask and they’re always available to answer them, no matter what.”

Mr. Paquette said this life-altering event has made him reassess his life in a variety of ways, and the Cardiac Rehabilitation program at University has been instrumental in helping him learn ways to eat healthy and life a healthier lifestyle.

“I’m learning something new everyday it seems,” he said.

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(706) 722-9011