Randy Kerdoon, the longtime KNX (1070 AM) morning sports anchor, spent Super Bowl Sunday in the West Hills Hospital ER.
All thanks to a heart attack.
Mostly, thanks to his wife calling 911.
It’s one of those cautionary tales you need to hear every now and then. We’ll let him explain.
First, the 60-year-old said he has chest pains on Saturday, Feb. 6. But he thought it was a muscle pull from exercising.
“I had tried doing push ups with my hands extended further out than shoulder length, hence the muscle pull theory,” he said. “However, I also felt it in my left bicep. I thought about the ‘what if this were a heart issue,’ so I went online and looked up the symptoms. I didn’t have a single one — certainly I didn’t have the shooting pain down the left arm and neck symptom. So, I iced the muscle, the pain went away, and I went to bed.”
He said he woke up the next morning sore again, took an ibuprofen, and “it got worse instead of better. Then the ‘real’ heart attack symptoms arrived. Radiating heat in my chest and arm, intense pain, sweating, light headedness.”
His wife, Marta, called 911 and within minutes there were eight paramedics and fire fighters in his bedroom.
“My wife has a theory that if it wasn’t for wives, all us guys would be dead,” Kerdoon said. “Either we are too macho, too skeptical or too much in denial that we could be in serious trouble so we wait too long to get medical attention. Put me in the denial category, until the pain hit, I thought this was much ado about nothing.”
Kerdoon was told he had 100 percent blockage in his left anterior descending artery — “they nickname it the ‘widowmaker” — and a stent was immediately put in. He said the other lucky part of that was his cardiologist was there at the ER early because he planned to go to a Super Bowl party later in the day, but saw Kerdoon arrive on the gurney, looked as his EKG and immediately got the stent installed.
With that, Kerdoon watched Super Bowl 50 from a small TV in the ICU. Many didn’t hear about Kerdoon’s situation until there was a recent post on the AllAccess.com radio industry website a couple of days after it happened.
Still, Kerdoon said he still did not think the episode was a big deal and even told KNX program director Ken Charles “not to worry, I’ll be back in about a week. Then my cardiologist told me I had a ‘catastrophic’ incident happen.”
Which means at least six weeks of rehab.
Kerdoon, winner of several Golden Mikes in his career as well as working on KFWB (980 AM) and a sportscaster at KTTV-Channel 11, wonders what he could have done to prevent this all from happening.
“Looking back, how this happened is still confusing,” he said. “My doctor said my diet was fine, my cholesterol and HDLs were right where they were supposed to be. My father had a quadruple bypass at the age of 65, yet he was a big smoker. I’ve never smoked.
“I thought I was in pretty good shape for being 60. Turns out, the culprit was some rogue piece of plaque that clogged things up, and almost ended my life.”
He said his return to KNX is “a fluid situation” but he hopes to return in late March. Chris Madsen has been filling in the morning shift in Kerdoon’s absence. His show, “Talking About Cars with Randy Kerdoon” is also on an “unscheduled hiatus” and new podcasts will be uploaded onto iTunes and TalkingAboutCars.net when he returns. He continues to update his Twitter account.
— Randy Kerdoon (@KNXRandyKerdoon) January 1, 2016
“The good news is I’m getting better every day. Since I’ve mentioned my heart attack to friends and others on social media, many of them have scheduled heart check-ups for themselves. It’s a smart move. I was pretty healthy and this happened to me, it could happen to anyone. If this incident means anything, let it be a motivator for people to get a heart check-up. Get that stress test.
“I’ve been able to walk 15 minutes twice a day since two days after the event and I officially start cardiac rehab on Monday.”
Maybe part of Kerdoon’s rehab could be walking over to Bob Miller’s home, which is about four blocks away from his. The Kings’ Hall of Fame broadcaster is recovering from quadruple bypass surgery on Feb. 2.
“I can’t yet,” said Kerdoon. “I haven’t graduated to walking up hills yet. Hmmm. Maybe it’s something in the water around here.”