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Carl Sodman

"The last heart attack, I was in the ambulance, and all of a sudden it got really dark. They were screaming at me to stay with them. Then they pushed me into the room, waiting to work on me," recalled Carl Sodman, a 63-year-old stock car enthusiast.

Sodman, who had two heart procedures and was treated at Sparrow for his most recent episode, said he is grateful to be alive. His family echoes that sentiment. Every year about 470,000 people who have already had one or more heart attacks have another attack, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The experience scared the heck out of my wife and daughters. I think once I was in the hospital they were OK with everything. Sparrow is our hospital," Sodman said. Today, the Perry resident said he misses some of his favorite foods, like hamburgers. But, he can't eat many burgers these days. His diet has changed since Sodman had a major heart attack in May 2009.

Since his diagnosis and treatment, Sodman reaches out to others about the risks of heart disease. Before his heart attack, he knew very little about heart disease. "I holler at people about what they are eating and how they are exercising," he said. But if they do find themselves in a situation similar to his, Sodman said there is only one place he recommends: Sparrow. "I just tell them they did real well by me."

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