DeKALB – Though he’s raring to get back to City of DeKalb business soon, the city’s fifth ward alderman said he’s got a ways to go in his recovery after suffering a heart attack in early July.
According to a GoFundMe created on Tuesday by DeKalb Fifth Ward Alderman Scott McAdams, the July 9 heart attack will leave him off of work for three months as part of his cardiac rehabilitation. While he and his partner Crystal Judkins have some money in savings for the time being, he said it’s not enough in the long run – “and the medical bills will be coming.”
McAdams had been noticeably absent from the past three DeKalb City Council meetings.
“When the doctor said, ‘You are having a massive heart attack. I’m about to perform a procedure to put two stents in your heart,’ I was pretty sure I was a goner,” McAdams wrote in the GoFundMe. “I survived. I am grateful. I am still here.”
McAdams said Tuesday he survived an esophageal cancer diagnosis in 2013 and a stroke from an automobile accident in 2017 caused by John Yanni, the crash which also killed DeKalb High School senior Johnathon Ode. McAdams said the reason he became involved in local politics is because he got to know DeKalb community members while he was walking two miles per day as part of his stroke rehabilitation.
“They knew me as the guy who was walking around the neighborhood doing stroke recovery stuff,” McAdams said.
McAdams said he woke up in the middle of the night July 9 to significant chest pains, though he never fell unconscious before being put under for surgery. He said extensive blood work done in May came back relatively normal.
“There was no reason to think that this was going to happen,” McAdams said.
According to medical documents shared with the Daily Chronicle, McAdams received treatment for a diagnosis of “myocardial infarction,” another term for a heart attack, in the weeks following his hospitalization. Northwestern Medicine officials declined to confirm on Tuesday whether McAdams was hospitalized at Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital from July 9 through July 11, citing Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act – or HIPAA – concerns.
McAdams said doctors expect him to make a full recovery from the heart attack. He said he has been feeling OK and getting better day by day, and the goal is to be back in his aldermanic seat by the next DeKalb City Council meeting scheduled for Monday, Aug. 9.
“I think I can sit in a chair and say ‘yes,’ ‘no’ and ‘here,’ ” McAdams said.
McAdams said he credits his son Ryan, 21, who has special needs, as his main drive in persevering through the more notable health struggles in his life. Otherwise, he said he has completed the main bucket list items he set out for himself, including owning a business and running for political office.
“So I don’t think I’m really missing anything,” McAdams said. “I’m kind of content of where I’m at and who I am … but I want to stick around to take care of my kid.”