DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - Keith Reid weaves a tangled tale of a recent life and death situation.
"I went to work about 6:30 and I got there feeling pressure in my chest," said Reid.
He said it escalated.
"It was just a feeling of death come over me. I just knew that I didn't have much time to get to the hospital."
Reid was having a heart attack.
"Just a feeling of pressure that came over my chest - squeezing," said Reid.
Dr. Ed Robbins is the Emergency Room Medical Director and was the doctor on duty when Reid was brought in. He said "time is tissue," and the clock was ticking.
"When you're having chest pains, you're doing one of two things: You're either damaging the muscle, or the muscle is just not quite getting enough blood supply and it's aching," said Robbins.
Reid beat the odds, driving himself to the hospital.
"Very scared. I was praying to the good Lord to help me make it to the hospital," he said.
He describes what he did when he walked through the ER doors.
"The lady said, 'Give me your insurance card,' and I pretty much threw it through there, and that's when I pretty much collapsed and sat down."
What followed was CPR and a jump start with the electric paddles. He was stabilized at Decatur/Morgan Hospital's Parkway campus.
When Reid regained consciousness, his wife told him he was being flown by helicopter to Huntsville Hospital.
"The ER doctors and all that told me that if I didn't drive myself, that I wouldn't be here today - and that is something that they don't recommend," said Reid.
In his case, there was no option.
Robbins said there is a lesson here as it deals with time.
"The whole idea of time is heart tissue. 'Time is muscle' has been engrained in the medical society and we have to continue to think that."
He said it's something everyone must learn, so lives can be saved. Reid certainly has and now he returns to thank the doctor and nurses who saved his life.
If you even think something is wrong, go ahead and get professional help immediately so that you don't become a tragic statistic.