"I still have heart disease," he says. "If I were to stop doing everything I'm doingdiet, exercise, medicationsI'd be right back to where I started."
A declining threat
Alfred Pasquale of San Rafael, Calif., is another survivor. In 2001, after an evening spent entertaining business clients at his Las Vegas hotel, he woke feeling "like I had an elephant on my chest." The now 67-year-old marketer of cheese products limped down to the lobby and caught the eye of the hotel concierge, who grabbed him and pulled him into a private room. All of a sudden, he says, an EMT was giving him nitroglycerin. He was plunked on a gurney, whisked to a hospital in Las Vegas, given a battery of tests, and had quadruple bypass surgery that very night. "If I had had that elephant on my chest 30 years earlier, I would be dead today," he says. "But thanks to that amazing treatment I now have a good quality of life."