Glenn: First Night After Surgery "Very Rough" | NBC 10 Philadelphia

Glenn: First Night After Surgery "Very Rough"

He feels good enough to tweet, but Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz says the first night after his double bypass surgery was very rough

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC10 Philadelphia
    April 24, 2012: The night before his successful double bypass surgery, NBC10 Meteorologist Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz read get-well cards from some local students.

    He feels good enough to tweet, but NBC10 Meteorologist Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz says the first night after double bypass surgery was "very rough."

    Glenn had emergency surgery on Wednesday.

    He had two blocked arteries, and his major artery, the one doctors call the "widow maker" because it supplies blood up to 60-percent of the heart, was 99-percent blocked.

    Hundreds of you have emailed your Get Well Glenn wishes and thousands of people have shared their well wishes and Glenn's story on Facebook and Twitter. And Glenn is extremely grateful:

    Glenn was on vacation last weekend when he went for a swim and felt slight pressure in his chest. The next day, when he was walking on the beach, he felt it again and was a little short of breath.

    "I'm thinking to myself, 'Boy, I'm getting out of shape pretty fast here,'" Glenn told co-anchor Renee Chenault-Fattah the night before his surgery.

    His doctor said he was very close to having a major heart attack.

    "Some people have symptoms at 50-percent [blockage], but he didn't have any until it was 99-percent. And it's very scary. So one extra blood cell getting caught in there could block it up totally," Dr. Francis P. Sutter explains.

    What probably saved Glenn's life is that he was very aware that his family history put him at an increased risk for heart disease, even though he eats right, exercises vigorously and sees his doctors regularly. So went he went to get his routine allergy shot on Monday morning, Glenn asked, "By the way, can somebody take my blood pressure or check a little bit because I had these chest pains last week."

    After two EKGs and cardiac catheterization, Glenn was prepped for surgery.

    "You have to listen to your body and you have to listen to your doctors," Glenn told Renee. His mother had bypass surgery when she was in her sixties, her brother had stents put in and their mother also had heart trouble. Dr. Sutter says anyone who has a family history like that should think of it as a DNA time machine.

    "So when somebody comes in and says, 'My mother had her arteries fixed when she was my age,' so when you know that, for all those people, if you have someone that's had heart problems at a young age you need to be extra careful."

    Because Glenn was pro-active, he'll spend quite a bit of time recuperating, but ultimately, because his heart was healthy, now with new arteries, he'll be in even better shape.

    "I'll be back stronger than ever, with more energy than I've had in many, many years."