The Beat DFW Daily Video
Isaiah Creighton

Source: Texas Health Resources /

Radio One celebrates February being American Heart Month! We are sharing local stories in the DFW community of those who have been affected by heart conditions and diagnosis. Black Health 365  encourages the African American community to take care of your heart both figuratively and literally 365 days a year.

After going into sudden cardiac arrest and collapsing on the mat with a near death experience, boxing athlete Isaiah Creighton lives to tell his story thanks to bystander CPR and emergency care at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen .

“I woke up with a sore chest, with my wife and parents staring back at me,” Creighton said.

Despite being 41 and physically active, Creighton suffers from bradycardia, which is a condition where the heart rate is too slow.

After going into sudden cardiac arrest, gym employees called 911 and began CPR. They continued until paramedics arrived a few minutes later. Creighton was rushed to Texas Health Allen.

“I could have ended up brain-dead or worse,” Creighton said. “Thankfully, I received immediate CPR and got to the hospital in a matter of minutes.”

Putting things together, understanding the cause

Isaiah Creighton

Source: Texas Health Resources /

“My paternal grandmother had an irregular heartbeat, so I’ve always been aware of my family’s medical history and made exercising part of my daily routine,” Creighton said. “But my sudden cardiac arrest came as a complete surprise.”

Unfortunately, sudden cardiac arrest is quite common. In fact, the TX-CARES program (Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival) determined nearly 60 Texans have a cardiac arrest outside of the hospital every day. And according to the American Heart Association, bradycardia can lead to frequent fainting, heart failure and cardiac arrest.kk

Getting the necessary treatment

“Most people in similar situations are not as fortunate,” said Dale Yoo, M.D., a cardiac electrophysiologist on the Texas Health Allen medical staff*.  “They don’t get the help they need.”

Yoo, who is also the Electrophysiology Program medical director, added that inherent rhythm issues almost never heal themselves. So, he recommended an implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) to protect Creighton from a potential future cardiac event.

Yoo emphasized that Creighton did everything by the book — eating the right foods, exercising and getting routine exams — yet he still had a cardiac event.

“It’s very hard to read a book by its cover when it comes to electrical heart disease. Now, we have preventive measures in place,” Yoo said. “If he suffers from sudden cardiac arrest, the ICD will immediately detect it, deliver a shock to his heart, return his heart to a normal rhythm and, most importantly, it will keep him alive.”

Returning to a new normal, full of gratitude and purpose

“So, now I have this 800-watt-sized battery in my chest ready to shock me if I go into sudden cardiac arrest again,” Creighton said. “I can’t say that it won’t happen again, but I’m certainly not going to let it reduce me.”

Back to work and back in the gym, Creighton remains optimistic and focused.

“I made it through a scary moment,” he said. “I want to give others hope, and maybe my story will be a light in a dark place for someone else, because God doesn’t make junk.”

To learn more about Texas Health’s heart and vascular services, click here.