Today is Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Two Lebanon men die at ages much too young

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By SAM HATCHER    Two good local men died last week at a very young age.    Both men, one 46 and the other 63, were victims of what were apparent heart attacks.    Their deaths should serve as a reminder to all of us that the ongoing heat, the stress in our daily lives and other personal health issues can be life threatening challenges for all of us.    These two men, Andy Martin, 46, and James D. Bryant, 63, still had so much to give and so much to share. They indeed will be sorely missed by both family and friends.    Andy Martin, 46, a Wilson County native and the son of Johnny and Diane Martin, leaves behind a wife, Susan Werckle Martin.He was the co-owner of T&A Cycles on South Maple Street and a graduate of Lebanon High School.    I knew Andy quite well. I watched him grow up and develop a personality that was welcoming to all he met. He had a certain demeanor about him that said he was interested in the lives of others and re-enforced this with a constant pleasant smile.    In his youth (the teenage years) and when I was not so young (in my 30s or so), Andy and several of his friends and I and some in my age group would play touch football on Sunday afternoons. He was a good size kid and competitive but always conscious of his size and force and would play the casual Sunday afternoon game so as to not injure or intimidate the rest of us, although trust me when I say he easily could.    He seemingly dedicated his whole life to this teenage touch football philosophy. He was bigger than life in so many ways. He sought friendship with others, was involved in the lives of others and genuinely cared for others. Andy leaves a great number of friends and loved ones who will miss him dearly.    My relationship with James Bryant was actually through his son, James P. Bryant, a Lebanon CPA.    His son told me that his father called him last week as Mr. Bryant was making a return road trip home.    James said he and his father talked briefly over the phone. His father told him that he didn't feel well and that he thought once he got home, he'd go to the hospital or doctor's office if he didn't feel better.    It was not long after that, that Mr. Bryant apparently began to feel worse and pulled off the road and suffered a heart attack.    An avid golfer, Mr. Bryant had much life still to live.    He and his wife of 45 years, Brenda, had three children and seven grandchildren.    The story is so familiar. Mr. Bryant at 63 died at a very early age. He was a well respected member of our community and as his obituary read "a beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend."    Please consider both of these men and the good lives they lived.    If there is a chance that you may be ill or suffering symptoms that may be related to certain cardiovascular issues, do not delay, consult your physician or go immediately to the hospital emergency room.    Dr. Rob Woods, a Lebanon cardiologist, says there are a number of symptoms that can be associated with a heart attack or stroke.    In females, he said the most common ailment is shortness of breath. Other symptoms in both males and females may include chest pains, pain or numbness in either the right or left arm, nausea, and sometimes pain in the jaw or elbow. He said some may feel tired or physically stressed after climbing stairs or doing some other routine exercise that normally would not affect their strength.    "It's okay to cry wolf," Dr. Woods advises, saying that 50 percent of the time people suffer heart attacks sitting at home. He said they don't go to the emergency room or see their personal physician because they think they may have indigestion or some sickness much less threatening than a heart attack and they rationalize that if they go to bed and sleep it off they will be fine the next day.    This, he says, is not the case in many instances and warns that if a person is suffering symptoms commonly related to a cardiovascular issue they should seek help immediately. On a side note, Dr. Woods notes that most heart attacks occur on Monday morning.     One final word, Dr. Woods advises that all should know their cholesterol numbers. Your cholesterol total should be less than 200, your good cholesterol (HDL) greater than 40, and your bad cholesterol (LDL) less than 100.         
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