“I felt so bad, I literally couldn’t go on with the show.”
— Richie Cecere
Life was telling me to slow down
My life runs about a 100 miles an hour and revolves around my family, my restaurant, and my music. So I never made the time to see a doctor or get a checkup. But life has a funny way of telling you when it’s time to slow down. My wake-up call came on June 25, 2008 when I had a heart attack.
For about three weeks before, I just didn’t feel like myself. I had no energy, ached all over, and barely could get out of bed. When it came to Saturday night, the night I always perform with my band at my restaurant, I felt so bad I literally couldn’t go on with the show.
The next evening, after having dinner at a local restaurant with my wife, I started experiencing the classic signs of a heart attack: chest pains, dizziness, sweating, and pain radiating down my arm. My wife called 911 and before I knew it, I was in an ambulance and heading for the Emergency Room at HackensackUMC Mountainside.
I knew I was in good hands
The minute I arrived, in the Emergency Room, I knew I was in good hands. I was met by an ER physician and a nurse who immediately performed an EKG and informed me that I was indeed having a heart attack. Within moments, Dr. Miller, a cardiologist and Medical Director of HackensackUMC Mountainside’s Cardiac Catheterization Lab, examined me and determined I had a blocked artery and would need a life-saving procedure called an emergency angioplasty to restore normal blood flow to my heart.
After the procedure, I spent nine days in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit in critical condition as I battled to recover. Everyone who took care of me, from the nurses at my bedside, the technicians, the doctors and specialists, couldn’t have been more compassionate, caring or dedicated.
I’m back on track
I’m happy to report that today, I’ve given up smoking, I’m singing with my band again, and people tell me I’ve never looked better. As a resident and business owner in Montclair, it’s comforting to know that we have such a superb hospital right here in our community. Thank you HackensackUMC Mountainside, I truly wouldn’t be here without you.