Appomattox heart disease survivor shares story in hopes of inspiring others to live heart-healthy lives

Lynchburg & Central Virginia News

APPOMATTOX COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Heart disease is the number one cause of death worldwide. An Appomattox man was almost part of that statistic, but now, with a new heart and a new lease on life, he gets to share his story.

“Lately, I haven’t been able to walk as good as I was walking,” said Scott Paulette, “but I’m gonna get it back up by keeping on walking.”

Each step for Scott gets him closer to a healthier life, a life that hasn’t been the same in 14 years.

“I thought it was pneumonia and it ended up being the heart,” his wife, Deborah Paulette, said.

Deborah was the one who insisted Scott get checked out back in October 2007.

“It was a Halloween that day at the office and they carried it back and everybody was happy and
I waited in the waiting room and when they came out, nobody was happy anymore.”

Not only did Scott have one heart attack, but he had three. This started his long journey of many surgeries, including a quintuple bypass. From there, he was given a pacemaker, a defibrillator, and a Left Ventricle Assist Device known as an LVAD.

However, over the years, it wasn’t enough. He needed a new heart.

“They really test you down there because they don’t want to waste a heart.”

He passed, but it took 15 months of waiting and praying for a new heart.

“It took some 14 hours to get heart in me, and when I came to, it was, uh, I felt pretty bad from it all, the surgery, but I had a new heart,” Scott said.

He calls Nov. 20, 2014 his ‘second birthday.’ Now, Scott lives a healthier life, has a better diet, and gets lots of exercise.

Through this journey, Scott found out heart disease is also hereditary, from both sides of his family. He encourages you to check with your cardiologist so you’re both on the same page and on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary.

He also hopes his story will inspire people to adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle in order to live a life as full as he does now.

An easy way to try out that heart-healthy lifestyle is to sign up to join us for the Lynchburg Heart Walk digital experience.

The opening ceremonies for the event start at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 17 on Facebook. Then, you can walk, bike, hike, run, or kayak wherever you are at 10 a.m.

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