Anderson drove himself to urgent care and it was only five minutes into the visit when a doctor told him he was having a heart attack.
“The staff at the hospital is amazed that I drove myself to urgent care while I was in the middle of a heart attack,” Anderson said in an email. “That was probably not a very wise choice, but I didn’t know that I was having a heart attack. I just knew that I didn’t feel very good and I needed to get to a doctor.”
He was immediately loaded into an ambulance at around 4:30 p.m. When he reached the hospital, Anderson underwent surgery to place a stent in his mid right coronary artery, which was completely blocked.
Anderson wrote that he was awake for the entire surgery, and that everything happened “amazingly fast,” as he was out of surgery only about three and a half hours after walking into urgent care.
The news of his heart attack shocked Anderson’s students and team, such as volleyball players and sophomores Anumita Alur and Anusha Pothineni.
“He didn’t have any heart problems, but last year he had a kidney surgery, so I don’t know if that was related to him having a heart attack in any way,” Alur said. “But I think we knew he was definitely not in good shape. He was not healthy since the surgery last year.”
Pothineni added that the news took her team by surprise, as their coach would always try to work out with them and wasn’t unfit.
“He would do stuff with us so he wasn’t extremely unfit because that’s usually a cause of heart attacks, right?” Pothineni said. “But he would always try to work out with us.”
Anderson has gotten many emails from students, and he wants them to know he is recovering.
“I just want everybody to know that I am feeling very good and I appreciate the concern,” he wrote.
Students like Alur and Pothineni want him to prioritize his health.
“I want him to just take as much time off from teaching and everything because he needs to get better,” Alur said.
Anderson and his family were also surprised at the sudden attack, although his family has gotten used to seeing him in the hospital since his kidney transplant last November.
Anderson hopes to be back home by Friday, but he believes that there is a good chance that he may not be back to school until January.
“I hope that my students can be flexible and forgiving because as we are getting closer to finals,” Anderson wrote. “I am sure that they are going to be a little uncomfortable having a substitute.”
The incident made Anderson feel lucky, since he was able to come out unscathed and he was told it was only a “minor” heart attack and easily treatable. He is very grateful for the concern and support from everyone.
“I didn’t plan on this – nobody plans on this, and it is just a reminder of how things can change immediately,” Anderson wrote. “I am quite lucky to make it through this episode, and I hope everybody understands how fragile life is and that they do the best they can to enjoy what they have.”