It’s a Brand New Day… Joy’s Story

Joy’s story is part of UNC REX Healthcare’s Brand New Day patient story series. Joy woke up with heart pain in the middle of the night and recalls her inspiring story of how UNC REX nurses & physicians saved her life.


Joy's StoryAt 4:00 am on Monday, June 6th, I was awoken from a sound sleep with a very deep and relentless pain in the center of my chest. After deep breathing, walking around my bedroom, and hoping for relief, I remembered that my dad had died from a heart attack at the early age of 59. I picked up the phone and called 911, and emergency responders were at my house within five minutes. They did some mobile EKG tests and decided it was important to get me to a hospital, and when they asked me where I wanted to go, I said UNC REX.

Those words were some of the smartest ones I’ve ever spoken. I arrived at Rex to be greeted by an emergency team who were rapid in their response, kind and funny in their interaction with me, and brilliant in their medical capabilities. A quick visit to the cath lab showed a complete blockage of the LAD … a condition that is called the “widow maker” for a reason. After a painless angioplasty and stent placement, the pressure in my chest disappeared and by 6 am, I was in a bed in the CCU joking with the nurses and angling to go home as soon as possible.

On July 8th, my cardiologist completed a comprehensive set of tests, including an EKG and an echocardiogram, which showed that I had sustained absolutely no permanent heart damage, and my test results looked exactly the same as baseline tests done several years ago. I am one lucky lady and it’s all because of the team at Rex Hospital. Without you, I know the story would have had a very different ending.

Please accept my thanks, my accolades, and my congratulations for being the very best in healthcare. You make a big difference.

–Joy King