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Caleb Thornton's A-Fib Story

Caleb ThorntonCaleb Thornton of Four Oaks feared his carefree days of coastal fishing might be over.

One evening, his heart rate suddenly skyrocketed, and his family wisely called 911. A few minutes later, he arrived at Johnston Health Smithfield—one of Johnston Health’s two accredited chest pain centers.

He quickly received a diagnosis of atrial fibrillation, a condition that, left untreated, could lead to stroke and other complications. He got treatment that converted his heart rhythm back to normal, and he stayed overnight in the hospital for observation.

Best Possible Care

“I couldn’t be more pleased with my treatment and care,” Caleb said. “My room in the new patient tower was huge. Dad was able to stay, and he slept comfortably on the full-sized sofa.”

But the event left Caleb with a fear of traveling too far from a hospital—especially to do the things he loves, like offshore fishing.

Meds Offer Sense of Freedom & Security

“My cardiologist with Johnston Health restored my confidence. He gave me a ‘pill-in-pocket’—a set of medications to get my heart back in rhythm if I have another episode, wherever I might be,” Caleb said.

This May, Caleb landed a 70-pound white marlin, over 50 miles out on his uncle’s boat Miss Shell. Caleb is delighted to report, “Life is back to normal with no long-term complications.”

Call 911

Reduce damage from a heart attack or cardiac arrest by calling 911 immediately.

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