Veteran reporter John David focusing on health after heart attacks

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- John David, a veteran reporter at WQAD, is on the road to recovery after suffering two heart attacks this September. Now, he's hoping his experience will help others pay attention to the warning signs.

Over Labor Day weekend, John suffered the first of two heart attacks while on vacation in California.

"I couldn't sleep at all. I had the worst pain in the hotel in my back, and then I started feeling pressure in my chest, and I'm like, 'Something's not right,'" John explained.

An on-call nurse convinced him to head to the ER.

"You kinda tend to discount it at first, but when they tell you, 'You had a heart attack,' it hits home pretty hard," said John.

Two heart attacks and three stents later, John is back home and working hard to improve his overall health.

Three times a week, John takes part in a cardiac rehab program at the Genesis Heart Institute. The monitored exercise program is similar to physical therapy for your heart.

"He's come a long way. From his first session, you're like, 'You can do this, you're okay,' and to now, I think he's getting his confidence back. I think he's gonna be fine," said Kelly Lafrenz, an exercise physiologist with Genesis.

John has also changed his diet, cutting out most junk food, red meat, and foods that are high in sodium. He's eating more fruits and vegetables, and he's counting calories, too.

Now, he hopes his experience will help others.

"Pay more attention to your body, and if you think something's not right, go in and get it checked out," says John.

John has about a week and a half left in the cardiac therapy program. He's hoping to eventually return to work at WQAD, and he wants to thank everyone for their support along the way.