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Heart Attack Survivor Gives Back Through Service on Hospital Foundation

Brown Gwynn, a new member of the Baptist Health Foundation Hardin Board of Directors, has a deep appreciation for the work done by Baptist Health Hardin to serve patients in its 10-county region.

For Gwynn, these services are the reason he is alive today.

On Jan. 30, 2019, Gwynn suffered a severe heart attack in his Elizabethtown home, a news release from the foundation said.

He initially experienced indigestion and gradually felt symptoms including a twinge in his right shoulder and tightness in his jaw.

After taking his blood pressure, Gwynn’s wife Yvonne transported him to the hospital emergency department.

When Gwynn arrived, the interventional cardiology team was able to take immediate action to clear the blocked artery and insert a stent.

“I am grateful to have a top-notch hospital with a talented and caring staff right here in our community, and I didn’t have to travel far for medical attention,” Gwynn said in the release.

“I can’t imagine what the outcome would have been if that wasn’t the case.”

After being released from the hospital, Gwynn participated in cardiac rehabilitation through Baptist Health Hardin, the release said.

He participated in rehab three days a week, took classes on heart health, engaged in monitored exercise, and received counseling on heart-healthy diets.

Now, he attends rehab two days a week and tries to pursue brisk exercise each day.

As a heart attack survivor, Gwynn has gained valuable insight on heart health over the past four years, the release said.

He stresses the importance of maintaining a continuous relationship with a primary care physician, monitoring cholesterol levels, following a heart-healthy diet, exercising regularly, and recognizing the symptoms of a heart attack.

For men, common symptoms include nausea or vomiting; jaw, neck or back pain; squeezing chest pressure or pain; and shortness of breath.

Common symptoms for women include nausea or vomiting; jaw, neck, or upper back pain; pain or pressure in the lower chest or upper abdomen; shortness of breath; extreme fatigue; indigestion and fainting.

“Heart attack symptoms encompass more than just extreme chest pain, and being aware of the full range of potential symptoms can save your life,” Gwynn said in the release.

“It’s better to go to the hospital thinking you’re having a heart attack and be wrong than to neglect receiving life-saving care.”

Gwynn joined the foundation board in November 2022.

The 28 leaders work to provide leadership and resources to strengthen Baptist Health Hardin, the release said. Gwynn said the gratitude he has toward Baptist Health Hardin was a major inspiration in his decision to give back through the foundation board.

“I feel as though I got a second chance at life thanks to God and Baptist Health Hardin,” Gwynn said in the release.

“Joining the board was a great opportunity to give back to the healthcare system that saved my life.”

Though he was never directly involved with Baptist Health before joining the foundation board, Gwynn has worked closely with hospital leaders in the past through his decades of experience as a civic leader.

As a former active member of the Elizabethtown Lions Club, Gwynn supported the hospital’s expansion efforts and community eyesight conservation work.

Starting in 1978, Gwynn was a member of the Elizabethtown Lions Club for 25 years and served the organization in several roles, including president.

Gwynn is retired from his position as chief operating officer and chairman of the board for JHA Legacy LLC, the release said.

He partnered and worked with his father at Dixie Farm Store, a business his father managed and purchased in full in 1963.

They managed locations in Elizabethtown and Campbellsville. Dixie Farm Store evolved into JHA Legacy.

In addition to his work on the foundation board and with the Lions Club, Gwynn has served as trustee chairman and chairman of the board for his church, Memorial United Methodist Church in Elizabethtown, president of the Mid-America Farm Equipment Dealers Association and national director of the National Farm Equipment Dealers Association.

Baptist Health Foundation Hardin has raised more than $15 million in its eight years of existence to support Baptist Health Hardin patients, the release said.

The “extras” purchased by the foundation include cooling caps for patients receiving chemotherapy to help them keep their hair, and more than $1 million worth of new equipment for the Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to help keep the tiniest and most vulnerable patients safe.

Donors also support pediatric therapy, cancer care, pet therapy, emergency pediatric care and the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner/Forensic program.

Source: The News Enterprise