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For one Northland man, COVID-19 was a life saver

For one Northland man, COVID-19 was a life saver
Published: Mar. 8, 2022 at 11:58 PM CST
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DULUTH, MN. (KBJR) - According to Duluth resident Howard Lacy, catching COVID-19 saved his life.

At his home, he enjoys working on DIY projects.

“I mean this is what makes life entertaining and creates a challenge,” said Howard.

Whether it’s a new bumper for his truck or a deck for the house, he can fix just about anything.

But this winter, he encountered some health problems he couldn’t fix by himself.

“Well the whole house came down with COVID-19 in late January,” said Mandy Lacy, Howard’s wife.

According to Mandy, after almost two years of being cautious, the pandemic finally made its way into their home.

“It’s stressful, you’ve got everybody who’s sick and there’s not a lot anybody can do,” she said.

The family survived the virus, but for Howard, some of the symptoms weren’t going away.

“The breathing issues, the chest pain, and the rapid heartbeat. Those were still sticking around,” said Howard.

He said doctors originally thought these were symptoms of long COVID-19, but they decided to perform an EKG just to be safe.

That’s when the doctors at St. Luke’s made a startling discovery.

“There was a heart blockage,” said Howard.

Two of the main arteries in his heart were blocked, 80% and 90%.

Within days he was in surgery. Doctors inserted a stent to open his arteries and clear them out.

He said he could feel a difference almost immediately.

“Oh gosh, I felt great within just hours. I could breathe,” said Howard.

Now he plans to make some life changes.

“I’m staying off the sugar, staying off the junk food,” he said.

He’ll get a chance to finish the projects he’s started, with a stronger heart and a new lease on life.

“You’ve got to get busy living or get busy dying, I think I’m gonna take the path of getting busy living,” said Howard.

Howard said the surgery that saved his life happened on March 2nd, which was also his 49th birthday.

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