I-4 crash leads to man's heart attack

Published July 15, 2006

After hitting a truck on Interstate 4 and jamming his chest into his steering wheel, Jon Barlow expected to have chest pains Thursday night.

But when the pains got worse in the hospital emergency room, doctors noticed the 25-year-old was not just dealing with bruises - he was having a heart attack.

"Thankfully he was in the right place," said Dr. Charles Sand, an emergency physician at St. Joseph's Hospital, where Barlow was being treated. "If he had been on the outside and ignored it, he could have died."

Barlow, a senior at the University of Southern Mississippi, was on his way to Tampa to job hunt with two friends when a truck stopped in front of him on I-4. His car hit the corner of the truck and his chest hit the steering wheel.

X-ray scans of his chest were normal, but Barlow said the pain intensified 2 hours after he arrived at the hospital.

When he complained to doctors, they rushed him to the coronary care unit, where he underwent angioplasty to remove a blood clot from an artery in his heart.