Rupert Hogg's Story

Rupert HoggMy doctor had been treating me for a pulled chest muscle, yet it was getting worse. 

I woke up June 2, 2020 at 2:00 AM. I was hurting so much I that I laid on the couch with my arms over my head trying to get more comfortable. My wife made me promise to go back to the doctor that day. I couldn’t reach my doctor by phone so I drove by the local urgent care and found that they were closed. Both of these were blessings in disguise because not knowing what else to do I decided to drive to the Emergency Department at Johnston Health at Clayton. Fortunately their Emergency Department is also an accredited Chest Pain Center.

They quickly diagnosed that I was having a major heart attack and had, in fact, had one at some point in the past. They stabilized me and transferred me to Smithfield. In route I texted my wife to let her know what was going on and where I was headed then lost consciousness. When I came back to attendants were working on me and I noticed my fingers had turned blue. Shortly, after arriving at the hospital in Smithfield I lost consciousness again. When I came to this time a man was leaning over me working on me. I asked “Who are you – what is going on?” he replied “I’m Dr. Hook and we’re trying to save your life.”

Dr. Hook and his team immediately took me into the cardiac catheterization unit where they placed three stints to open blocked arteries. They also installed an impeller device in the upper chamber of my heart to support my weakened heart. He and his team did, in fact, save my life.

My condition was very guarded. Dr. Hook followed my care very closely. Some time later they removed the impeller and downgraded my care. After eight days I was able to come home. With excellent homecare and cardiopulmonary rehab through Johnston Health, I was able to return to work in just over a month.

If either of the first to options I tried had been available and I had not gotten to the Clayton hospital when I did, I’m confident that I would have died. I have no doubt that my decision to go to the Johnston Health Emergency Department and Chest Pain Center, and their actions and putting me in the hands of Johnston Health Cardiology Services so quickly, saved my life.  

I am so thankful. They not only saved my life, this changed my life. I feel like I am one of the most blessed people in the world. I know I am very blessed to have two very special people in my life – my wife Diane and my cardiologist, Dr. Matthew Hook.

Rupert Hogg

Clayton, NC

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If your doctor refers you to UNC Health Johnston for cardiovascular care, ask your doctor’s office to schedule an appointment for you.

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