MACON, Ga. -- A Macon man said his life will be forever changed after he survived a heart attack.
Each year over 600,000 people die of heart disease in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That translates to one in every four people -- and on February 18, 2018, it was Larry Dover who fought for his life.
Dover said now, there's not a day that goes by that he doesn't tell his loved ones how grateful he is to have them. "They call it a silent killer for a reason, because you never know until it happens," Dover said.
Dover said that prior to that devastating night, he never really paid too much attention to what he was putting in his body: smoking, unhealthy eating and to top it off, he drank three energy drinks per day.
"Went to the bathroom, and come back and I was like, 'Do I look okay?' And she was like, 'No, you're sweating.' And then sweating turned into couldn't hardly breathe, and then my arm started hurting and I knew then something was going on," said Dover. "Sensations that were going on in there I was like, I've never felt before in my life."
When Dover arrived to the emergency room the doctors shocked him three times, and things took a turn for the worse. "Maybe a minute or two and I was dead and the staff at Coliseum Medical Center, they saved my life," said Dover.
It's now officially been a year since Dover's heart attack happened at the Applebee's on Eisenhower Pkwy. On Monday, Larry found himself back at the same restaurant where it all started.
"The experience overall is a very humbling experience. I mean it lets you know that regardless of what's going on in this world, I mean it's gonna keep going with or without you," said Dover.
Since that night, Dover said he's since quit smoking and has cut his energy drink consumption tremendously. He said it's taken him and his girlfriend a year to build up the courage to walk back into that Applebee's, and he said he feels lucky to be alive.
February is heart health month. Learn more about how to stay healthy with the American Heart Association.