MOLINE, Illinois — News 8 viewers may have noticed that veteran WQAD reporter John David hasn’t been on the air since Labor Day.
David – or JD as his WQAD family affectionately calls him – suffered a heart attack while in Los Angeles over the holiday, where he and his wife Joyce planned to take in a Dodgers game and attend some TV show recordings.
“Prior to leaving the Quad Cities, John had experienced an achy back, sore shoulders and neck,” David’s wife, Joyce, said. “He attributed it to stress and carrying a tripod for one of the Channel 8 photographers. At the hotel in California, he experienced chest pain. He said he had never experienced such pain in his life.”
After consulting with their family doctor in Davenport, he was advised to head to an emergency room in L.A.
“Luckily, Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys was just a mile away,” Joyce said. “When we arrived, they diagnosed the heart attack, brought in their top people and John had a stent procedure through his right wrist. John said the heart attack he experienced wasn’t like how it’s portrayed in the movies. He didn’t clutch his chest. He said he felt a tightness in the chest and a shortness of breath.”
After four days in a California hospital, David was released and cleared to fly back home. However, it appears he wasn’t quite out of the woods yet. Last Thursday, Sept. 14, Joyce said John reported pain in his left calf like a Charley horse. After consulting again with his doctor’s office, he was advised to once again visit the ER, where he was told the clot should dissipate with the medicine he was taking. The following Monday, David had a scheduled follow-up with a cardiologist.
“It was at the cardiologist’s office on Monday that John had a second heart attack,” Joyce said. “He was wheeled to the ER and then taken to surgery where two more stents were placed. Luckily, the blood clot in his left calf is gone.”
As of Tuesday, JD was resting comfortably in the cardiac ICU and was expected to be released, although a full recovery is expected to take a couple months.
Joyce said the outpouring of well-wishes and prayers from both John’s News 8 friends and audience members has helped buoy his spirits.