StreetWise Vendor Roark Moody suffered a heart attack last month. He was on the way to Jesse Brown VA Medical Center for a routine check-up. He got off the Blue Line train at the medical center and could no longer breathe. “I literally fell to my knees gasping for breath.” We asked Moody if anyone stopped to help him and he responded, “People must have thought I was on drugs or crazy. This one lady finally saw me and she helped me up the rest of the way. She flagged the bus down and helped me across the street.”
The bus driver took Moody straight to the emergency room. The doctors took Moody’s blood pressure and began to run a battery of tests to figure out what caused the heart attack. The doctors discovered that one of Moody’s valves wasn’t functioning right. “They found out that one of my valves doesn’t close all the way. That caused a lot of pressure on my heart which raised my blood pressure and tore one of my arteries.”
While Moody was in the hospital, his main concern was his cat. “The doctor said I had to get admitted and I said, ‘I can’t! I have a cat!’ ” Moody’s doctor responded by telling him that his cat has nine lives and Moody isn’t going anywhere! Moody contacted Ron, head of vendor sales, to take care of his cat, Wrigley.
The disturbing part of Moody’s episode was that he didn’t feel like he was having a heart attack. “I didn’t feel the elephant on my chest. I thought I had the flu.” Moody didn’t experience typical heart attack symptoms, which exemplifies the importance of heart attack awareness. Moody was scheduled to have open heart surgery at Heinz VA Med Center near Maywood in early October. You can check on his recovery by emailing email@example.com.
Moody wrote a poem about his experience called “Fate Sonnet,” which can be found on Page 14. Moody says, “Fate Sonnet is a poem I wrote when I found out I was going to have open heart surgery. I couldn’t go to sleep that night, and I decided to say a prayer. I came up with this poem, and a prayer, where I ask God for help during this challenge in my life.” He invites everyone to use the poem in their worshipping.
Moody was put on a special diet by his doctor. “I’m on the rabbit food diet. I told that to my doctor, and he said, ‘no you’re on the stay-alive diet.’ ” Moody is doing his best to watch his portions and food. In addition to eating better, Moody plans to swim and exercise during his recovery. He can’t ride his bike for a while because his ribs must recover before he can take the chance of falling off his bike.
Moody plans to use his free time to study some philosophy, theology, Spanish and Latin. “I want to study these disciplines and add elements of each to my work.” Moody thinks each discipline will bring a new-found flavor to his writing. “I want to broaden my viewpoint when I write poetry. I want to be able to write about everything. I don’t want to be a one-trick pony.”
Written by Adrian Villalpando,