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February 12, 2018 06:11 PM

Abbott's Heart Attack Draws Attention To Heart Month

Sioux Falls, SD

University of South Dakota President Jim Abbott is out of the hospital and recovering after suffering a heart attack on Saturday.  

Heart attacks aren't one size fits all. 

"It's hard to say. Sometimes the pain may not be as severe," Sanford Health cardiologist Marian Petrasko said. 

Abbott felt well enough to drive himself to a Vermillion hospital. 

"Everybody's just hoping for a speedy recovery, because everyone just loves President Abbott," USD Student Affairs vice president Dr. Kim Grieve said. 

Abbott was airlifted to Sioux Falls on Saturday. 

Petrasko says if you're experiencing symptoms of a heart attack, the safest ride is in an ambulance.  

"Sometimes they pass out, or they simply die. So if they are driving themselves, or family is driving them, there's not much that can be done on the way," Petrasko said. 

We've all heard the symptoms. Chest pain is the big one. Women might feel more tired or sick to their stomach. Petrasko says once you notice the signs, it's time to go to the hospital. 

"We say that time is a muscle, and that's not without reason. It means the earlier treatment starts, the more of the heart muscle will be saved," Petrasko said. 

Petrasko says it's better to get checked out than wish you did. 

Abbott is expected to make a full recovery and then finish out his last year as president of USD before his retirement at the end of this semester. 

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