Could these Deaths have been Prevented?

The cases listed here are real people, people who are not with us today, people who might still be here today if only they had an EBT heart scan…….. If only

Jim F Fixx 1932 – 1984

(Although Jim lived in the pre-EBT and pre-statin era, it seems appropriate to put his obituary first) 52-year-old Jim Fixx collapsed while out jogging July 20, 1984 and died of a massive heart attack. Autopsy revealed extensive heart disease with coronary artery blockages of 99%, 80%, and 70%. Jim took up running in the 1960′s when he weighed 220 lbs. He is credited with helping start America’s fitness revolution, popularizing the sport of running. His best-selling book, ‘The Complete Book of Running’ was published in 1977 and sold over 1 million copies. By that time he was jogging an average of 60 miles every week and his weight was down to 159lbs. In 1980 he published Jim Fixx’s ‘Second Book of Running: The Companion Volume to The Complete Book of Running’. Jim’s father died of a heart attack at age 43 and Jim’s cholesterol levels was above 250 mg/dl. He was survived by four children.

Darryl Kile 1968 – 2002

The St Louis Cardinal pitcher complained to his brother Daniel of shoulder pain and weakness Friday June 22, 2002, the night before he died, possible warning signs that he had heart problems. Kile was found dead Saturday in his 11th-floor hotel room at the Westin Hotel after he failed to show up for St. Louis’ game against the Cubs. The night before, he had gone to dinner with his brother, Daniel. Daniel reported that Darryl said his shoulder was hurting and that he felt weak but “For a guy who was a pitcher in the major leagues, (the weakness) was an unusual symptom” . Kile’s father died from a heart attack in his mid-40s.

An autopsy on Kile, 33, revealed an 80 to 90 percent narrowing of two of his three coronary arteries, said Dr. Edmund Donoghue, the Cook County medical examiner. Cardinals spokesman Brad Hainje said Kile had a physical examination during spring training. He said he was not aware of Kile complaining of chest pains.
In 2000, Darryl Kile became the first Cardinals pitcher to win 20 games since 1985. (Cardinals/Scott Rovak)

Brian Maxwell 1953 – 2004

Collapsed Friday March 19, 2004 at a post office, and died of a heart attack. He was 51. In 1977 Maxwell was ranked the No. 3 marathon runner in the world by Track and Field News. Maxwell and his wife Jennifer, a nutritionist, co-founded PowerBar, the popular energy bar company in 1986 and began by selling PowerBars out of their kitchen. Over the next decade, the Berkeley, California-based firm grew to $150 million in sales and 300 employees. In March 2000, the couple sold the company to Nestle SA for a reported $375 million. Maxwell is survived by his wife and five children
Brian Maxwell, running for Cal in 1973

Robert Palmer 1949 – 2003

The British rock singer died suddenly of a heart attack at age 54 at the luxury Paris Warwick Hotel on September 25th after a calm night of dinner and a movie. The singer had received a clean bill of health from his doctors in Switzerland just a few weeks earlier. Palmer began his career at the age of 19 singing with the Alan Bown Set and a soul group, Vinegar Joe, before going solo in 1974. He became known for slick videos and a clever combination of rock, R&B and reggae sounds with hit singles including “Simply Irresistible”, “I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On”, and the Grammy winning “Addicted to Love”. The “Addicted to Love” video, featuring a sharply dressed Palmer flanked by miniskirted models, became one of early MTV’s most-played clips. Palmer is survived by his companion of 20 years Mary Ambrose and two children
British singer, Robert Palmer 2003

John Ritter 1948 – 2003

The 54 year old actor and comedian who gained stardom in the sitcom “Three’s Company,” died September 11th after collapsing on the set of the ABC TV series “8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter”. The cause of death was an aortic dissection, an unrecognized and undetected flaw in the aorta, the large artery that carries blood out from the heart. Ritter was the youngest son of Western film star and country music legend Tex Ritter. John was known best for his role as Jack Tripper on the long-running television sitcom, “Three’s Company,” which brought him an Emmy. Ritter’s other TV roles included appearances on “The Waltons”, the “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”, “Ally McBeal.” for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award, “Hooperman,” and “Hearts Afire.” Ritter was the voice of Clifford on the PBS animated series “Clifford the Big Red Dog,” for which he received two Emmy nominations. Big screen roles included the films: “Sling Blade.”, “Tadpole,” “Manhood,” and “Bad Santa,”. Ritter is survived by his wife, Amy Yasbeck, and their daughter Stella, and three children — Carly, Tyler and Jason — from his first marriage to Nancy Morgan.
John Ritter receiving the People’s Choice Award 2003

Jim Cantalupo 1944 – 2004

The 60 year old chairman and CEO of McDonalds, died of a suddenly on April 19th from an apparent heart attack at a McDonald’s convention in Orlando, Fla.. Cantalupo had served as chairman and chief executive of the No. 1 fast-food restaurant chain since Jan. 1, 2003, and was widely credited with spearheading McDonald’s turnaround in service, quality and sales. A 30-year veteran of the company, Cantalupo joined McDonald’s as controller. He was named a regional manager for the Northeast in 1985, president of McDonald’s International in 1987, and president and chief executive officer in 1991. Cantalupo also served on the board of directors of Sears, Roebuck & Co. and on the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations.
Jim Cantalupo, McDonalds chairman and CEO

Miguel Contreras 1953 – 2005

The son of migrant farmworkers who grew to be one of the nation’s most powerful urban labor leaders was stricken by a sudden heart attack on the way to a meeting on Friday May 6. Contreras began working the fields of California’s fertile Central Valley at age 5. By age 17, he was leafleting supermarkets on behalf of the national grape boycott called by Cesar Chavez’s then-fledgling United Farm Workers of America. He joined the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor in 1993. In 2000, he helped lead a strike by Los Angeles janitors, many of them poor immigrants, against building owners. The work stoppage ended with a new contract that was touted as a model for labor organizations across the country. That year he also played a key behind-the-scenes role in resolving the Los Angeles County transit strike that paralyzed public transportation for over a month. At one point, he publicly rejected what the Metropolitan Transportation Authority had characterized as its final offer, calling it “cheap” and denouncing it as an attack on “core middle class jobs.” Later, he brought in the Rev. Jesse Jackson as a mediator when it appeared negotiations had broken down. At the time of his death, Contreras was leader of the L.A. County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, an umbrella organization representing 345 local unions with political clout extending from Los Angeles to the state Capital and beyond. Contreras is survived by his wife, fellow labor organizer Maria Elena Durazo, and two sons, Michael and Mario.
Miguel Contreras, labor leader of L.A. County AFL-CIO

Tim Russert 1950 – 2008

One of the nation’s most respected political journalists, collapsed suddenly and died at age 58 on June 13, 2008 of a heart attack at the NBC News bureau in Washington, D.C.. He was preparing for Sunday’s installment of NBC’s political interview show, Meet the Press. Russert never betrayed his personal beliefs on the air while holding powerful figures accountable — senators, presidents, prime ministers alike. After obtaining his law degree in 1976, he served as special counsel, U.S. Senate from 1977-1982, served as counselor, New York governor’s office in Albany, N.Y., 1983-84; joined NBC News as a report in 1984; became Washington bureau chief, NBC News in 1988; and then Moderator, NBC News’ Meet the Press in 1991. Russert is survived by his wife and son. He did have a heart scan in 1998 (at age 48), his coronary calcium score then was already very elevated at 210. In addition, we know he suffered from both low hdl cholesterol and high triglyceride levels. A stress test two months before his death was normal. We do not know if his death could have been prevented with current medical technology. He was taking blood pressure medications and statins. He would have needed more invasive tests, such as an angiogram, to discover the severity of his disease and had those tests been done bypass surgery would probably have been recommended.

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