Chad Plein - Missouri Father Helps Spread Awareness After Near-Fatal Cardiac Episode
Chad Plein is an Emmy-award winning sports anchor from Springfield, Missouri. Chad and his wife, Cati, have two children: Coy Michael and Chyler Ann. Chad is a featured survivor for #NoMOHeartDisease, the American Heart Association’s year-long initiative created to increase awareness and reduce the prevalence of heart disease in Missouri.
In December, 2015, at age 39, Chad Plein was living the dream. He had a beautiful wife, two amazing children and a high-profile career as the sports director at KY-3. On top of that, the holiday season was in full swing. However, what happened one December morning, would change his life forever.
After his morning shower, Chad experienced what he thought might be a panic attack. His wife dialed 9-1-1, despite his objections. Upon arriving at the hospital, they learned that the “panic attack” was actually a heart attack. Chad’s right coronary artery was more than 95% blocked. When stents didn’t work, Chad underwent open-heart surgery to open the clogged artery.
Chad knew that he had a family history of heart disease (he’s the fourth generation of males to suffer a heart attack on his father's side), but he also thought at 39 he had time. He didn’t smoke, but he also didn’t exercise. Other risk factors included a diet significantly comprised of take-out food and a high level of stress.
Three days after his heart attack, Chad was able to come home from the hospital and celebrate Christmas with his family. However, the family’s reality has been forever altered. Almost three years later, Chad’s children say goodbye or goodnight over and over again and he strives to reassures them with, “I'm fixed now and everything is fine”.
Since the heart attack, Chad has a new daily routine. Take-out meals have been replaced by healthier options at home, water is his go-to drink and the treadmill is his friend. Chad knows that he can’t let stress overwhelm him and makes a conscious effort to enjoy the little things more and tries not to sweat the small stuff.
Of why he chose to be part of #NoMOHeartDisease, Chad remarked, “I hope that by sharing my story, I can help the American Heart Association raise awareness of heart disease and the importance of healthy living to others.”
#NoMOHeartDisease works to educate Missourians on changes they can make to prevent heart disease, while unifying heart disease survivors. Each month, #NoMOHeartDisease tells a heart disease survivor’s story through video, blog and social media, all of which can be found at heart.org/nomoheartdisease. The American Heart Association also posts about the initiative on their Missouri Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Survivors are encouraged to share their heart disease stories, and Missourians are encouraged to interact with the initiative, by using #NoMOHeartDisease on social media. Video production services for the #NoMOHeartDisease initiative were donated by Rogue Route.
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