OCEAN CITY – Councilman Joe Mitrecic is back to business while he is recovering from a heart attack at home and plans to be back in council chambers Monday.
Mitrecic was released from the hospital on Wednesday evening after suffering from a heart attack last weekend. The Dispatch spoke with him on Thursday afternoon as he sat in his office at home working on some paper work.
“I don’t plan on being gone too long,” he said. “I actually feel better now than I did last week.”
On Sunday, Mitrecic woke up feeling fine and went on with his day as planned. He headed over to Crown Sports Center to coach his daughter’s last two lacrosse games of the season and came home to work on some business while he watched the Daytona 500. He then got showered and headed to his mother’s house in north Ocean City.
“I turned onto 142nd Street and started to have some unexplained chest pains,” he said. “I got to my mother’s and thought maybe it was indigestion and then quickly realized that it wasn’t.”
Mitrecic’s wife, Sheryl, drove him to the nearest fire station, and emergency staff on duty quickly realized that Mitrecic was not in good shape. They had him sit in an ambulance while they ran an Electrocardiogram (EKG) test and next thing Mitrecic knew they were on their way to Peninsula Regional Medical Center (PRMC) in Salisbury.
The Ocean City emergency personnel had been in communication with the PRMC Catheterization Lab and a team was waiting for him at the door when he arrived.
“I was in the cath lab within 10 minutes of having a heart catheter put in,” he said. “If I had not made the decision to go up there [Montego Bay Fire Station] when I did and they [Ocean City emergency personnel] had not given me the care they did, I would be dead. No doubt in my mind about that.”
Mitrecic’s results showed a 100 percent blocked right side carotid artery. He had a cardiac catheterization and stint put in.
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“I had been feeling kind of run down and tired for a month or so now and I thought that it was maybe stress from work or life,” Mitrecic said. “I just thought I wasn’t sleeping well but come to find out it was the beginning of what happened.”
Mitrecic is recovering at home waiting for clearance to go back to work in his family construction business. Although he has not been cleared to drive, he plans to be at Monday’s council legislative meeting.