Long-time Career Missionary Sam Stallings (ELIC since 1996) had a mild heart attack. Flown to Rapid City, and returned to Bowman, South Dakota, he is recovering and processing his new normal with coronary artery disease.
At the time of his attack, Sam was mowing the yard and felt tight pain in the middle of his chest, along with difficulty breathing. He went inside the house, and Patty suggested going to the emergency room. Since he felt somewhat better, he returned outside to finish the yard mowing.
Before long, Sam was back inside with the pain more intense. He and Patty proceeded to the ER. Sam was cheerful with the ER staff, and wasn’t too alarmed, because he didn’t fit the standard heart attack risk factors. But, his blood work changed all that … the doctor wanted him to remain in the hospital while they monitored the levels.
From “let’s keep a close watch” to “you are being airlifted to Rapid City” with nitroglycerin under his tongue, heparin, morphine in his veins, and oxygen in his nose, it all happened in one swift movement. After a barrage of tests, the angiogram showed small narrowed arteries, but too small in diameter to stent. The medical profession had found the problem, but they could not fix it.
With mountains of information, instructions, and five prescriptions, Sam was sent back to Bowman. He will continually carry a vial of nitroglycerin in his pocket. Reality has set in, and Sam affirms: “Although I have some unknowns to wade through, this is what I do know … no matter what, God is good and His love endures forever.”