RUSH: Thank you all very much for coming. I want to make this as brief as I can because I want to get out of here. I’ve been here since Wednesday afternoon. The first thing I want to do is thank the people at the Kahala Hotel & Resort. The general manager there, Thomas Pauly, and their security staff reacted like that (snaps fingers) to my distress call at 2:30 on Wednesday afternoon. The people here at Queen’s Hospital could not have been better. I feel very, very fortunate. I have been treated to the best health care the world has to offer — and that is right here in the United States of America. Also, I am overcome with all the prayers, the cards, the flowers that have come in from people all over the country. It has been a very humbling experience. Now, all of my life, I have wondered what a heart attack would be like. I have never had any heart disease. I have never had any problem with it.
At 2:30 on Wednesday afternoon, I experienced pain in my upper-left chest like I had never experienced before. I sat down. I walked around. Nothing abated. I got on the phone and called the security staff at the Kahala. And the security people were up there instantly. (snaps fingers) EMT came in instantly. And I think within 20 minutes, I was here at the hospital undergoing extensive tests. They alleviated the pain problem within a half-hour. And yesterday morning I had an angiogram, which is a catheter treatment through the heart, and they found absolutely nothing wrong. It was a blessing. No arterial disease, no coronary disease whatsoever. I stayed last night for observation just to make sure, because the pain was real and they don’t know what caused it. And I think, for everybody out there who — I’m 58, will be 59 in a couple weeks, and you start thinking about these kinds of things.
Don’t mess with it. Any time you have heart pain or chest pain and you have no idea what it is, and it’s something you’ve never experienced before, turn it over to professionals right off the bat. Don’t tough it out. Don’t try to make it go away on your own, because it’s not worth the risk. Again, the treatment I received here was the best that the world has to offer. Based on what happened to me here, I don’t think there’s one thing wrong with the American health care system. It’s working just fine, just dandy. And I got nothing special. I got no special treatment other than what anybody else that would have called 911 would have gotten had they been brought in with the same kinds of symptoms. The care was extensive, it was personal, and it was complete, and it was very confidence-inspiring. And I never once — once I got here — had any fears, because of the manner in which I was treated.
My cardiologist for this, Dr. [Joana] Magno, is here. I have gotten to know her very well in the last couple of days. She’s absolutely fabulous. Also, another cardiologist on the case was Dr. [Stephen] Wallach, who is not here. But they are the team. But the nurses, the support staff, the nurses’ aides, have made this stay almost like a hotel, other than the problem I had with what I thought was the heart. I wish I knew what it was. All people can do is make wild guesses about it. The best guess was it might have been a spasm in an artery, but this angiogram showed literally no heart disease or arterial disease whatsoever. For that, I am very grateful, and it’s a blessing in disguise that it happened as it did, with no damage whatsoever, because it takes things like this in life maybe to prepare you for the eventuality that you are getting older. You’re not as young as you were, and not as invincible as you once thought you were. I would like to turn it over to Dr. Magno now, because she wants to say a couple things about this. And thank you for respecting no questions, because if we did questions, I know you would ask questions I really don’t want to answer in this setting about political circumstances. I just feel very grateful and thankful to be an American and have this happen to me at one of the best cardio hospitals in the world, where I happen to be here. It all worked out for the best.