Dr. Holladay recovers from heart attacks

Photo Credit: Geneva College PR

Photo Credit: Geneva College PR

Patrick Cooper 

Staff Writer 

Geneva College’s mathematics professor Dr. Phil Holladay called his recovery from dual heart attacks this January “a miracle.” After the scare of experiencing one heart attack on Jan. 21 and the other on Jan. 23, Dr. Holladay was glad to come to a full recovery and return to campus on Feb. 11, 2019.  

“My right coronary artery was completely blocked, which should be fatal,” said Dr. Holladay. “It feels like a miracle.” 

The symptoms of the first heart attack on Monday he failed to recognize, but when he experienced the second around midnight on Wednesday, he knew the pain radiating across his chest was not normal. He was promptly rushed to the emergency room.  

Once Dr. Holladay had been admitted to the hospital, doctors first tried to put a stent into his arteries. However, when their attempts proved unsuccessful, they decided to rely on the heart’s own adaptive bypass.  

When the first heart attack occurred, his body began to work on a bypass around the blocked portion of the artery that flows directly into the heart. According to Dr. Daryl Sas and Dr. John Stahl, this process is “extremely rare.”   

“It mystifies me,” Dr. Holladay said, adding that the bypass would not have been possible in a younger man’s heart.  

A few weeks after the event, Dr. Holladay is happy to announce that he sometimes forgets the heart attack ever occurred. “I am probably in better shape now than I've been in some time,” he said. He sends his appreciation to the whole Geneva community with thanks for all the prayers from campus.