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Dog saves owner suffering 'widow-maker' heart attack

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Posted at 6:50 PM, Feb 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-04 14:24:51-05

SAN MARCOS, Calif. (KGTV) - After a heart attack nearly killed him at age 46, Adam Bavario is now thanking his doctors, and his dog.

For 27 years Bavario was a medic and police officer in Los Angeles. He says while he loved the job it caused a lot of added stress on him physically and mentally.

During his 30's Bavario started having health issues and chest pains, but every time doctors ran tests they couldn't find anything wrong.

The misdiagnosis almost killed him five months ago.

"I knew I was having a heart attack. I went to grab my phone and passed out on the floor," said Bavario.

He was suffering one of the deadliest heart attacks, known as the widow maker.

"One of his major arteries was 100 percent blocked, and if that doesn’t get opened in time or quickly, there's a potential for something catastrophic," said Dr. Karim El-Sherief, an Interventional Cardiologist at Tri-City Medical Center.

While unconscious, Bavario's sleeping dog Roxy awoke and sensed he was in trouble, licking and nudging him until he woke up.

“The ironic thing about Roxy is Roxy is completely deaf from birth, she had enough awareness to come in and get me up," said Bavario.

He was able to call 911 and then first responders from the San Marcos Fire Department got Bavario to Tri-City Medical Center in minutes.

Dr. El-Sherief and his team were able to treat Bavario in record time for the hospital, 27 minutes.

Now Bavario is using his free time to advocate for cardiac awareness.

"What I can tell you is get checked out, do your routines," Bavario says.

Dr. El-Sherief says with proper screenings along with diet and exercise, these heart attacks can be prevented. One screening they perform can predict a person's risk in the next 10 years.

Learn more about heart screenings available at Tri-City Medical Center.