LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - More than two months after suffering a massive heart attack, Gregg County Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Tim Bryan is sharing his story.
It happened in early February, ahead of a Rotary Club meeting in Gladewater. It was Bryan’s 49th birthday, and he was set to make a presentation at the club’s lunch meeting at the Bluebyrd Room. However, soon after arriving, he collapsed and almost died.
”I don’t recall much of what happened that day,” he said. “But I’ve learned these things after. I guess I have some situational amnesia from the event that happened.”
Bryan said he had no warning signs like chest pain or family history ahead of his heart attack. Soon after collapsing, one of the few people at the venue, Leon Word, started performing CPR until first responders arrived.
“My understanding is they (medics) shocked me three different times on the way to Longview,” he said.
After spending a couple of days in a Longview hospital, Bryan was eventually taken to Dallas where he woke up days later in a room full of strangers.
”My wife wasn’t even there, but they were describing to me what happened and what treatment I would have. I think it was kind of a slow process,” he said. “They didn’t want to overwhelm me.”
Bryan spent almost a month in Dallas working to regain his strength and ensure he was safe to return home to East Texas.
”Hadn’t really had an eye into what I could have done differently,” Bryan said. “Just like one of the doctors described to me in Dallas, it’s just a roll of the dice.”
Bryan said in the past two months he and his wife, Tina, have felt the prayers and love from across East Texas.
”At the same time, my wife is struggling with ovarian cancer,” he said. “So she’s in the middle of chemotherapy for that, as well. So the outpouring for both of us has been very refreshing.”
These days, Bryan is getting back to work for the people of Gregg County, with a new appreciation for life.
”Obviously life is very precious and the future could have ended very easily for me that day,” he said. “So I’m not sure what it holds, but I know that it holds something. So everyday no matter if I want to or not, I’m going to get up and go to work and live my life. And just about the time that I feel down about something, or maybe some situation is not going my way, I’ll think, ‘you really don’t have a right to be fussing about it. Because you really shouldn’t be here.’ Because it could have been a lot different that day.”
Bryan has yet to meet the man who gave him CPR, but said he and his wife would like to meet him as he regains his strength.
Tuesday, April 13 is Tim and Tina’s 19th anniversary.