VIProfile: Jimmy Jobe

Story by Sadie Fowler

Jimmy Jobe describes Feb. 28, 2017 as being a day that started out as nothing short of ordinary — a busy day during tax season. The longtime Murfreesboro accountant woke up and performed his normal morning routine prior to attending a conference in Nashville, where he ate a little too much before heading home for an uneventful afternoon that included working out and preparing taxes.

Jimmy said shortly after working out he didn’t feel well, but chalked it up to a likely head cold.

“It wasn’t anything too serious,” he said. “I felt a little congested in my chest, like it was a little hard to get a breath, but I didn’t feel any pain or anything like that.”

He honestly didn’t think much of it but while eating dinner with his wife Donna, Jimmy decided he would reach out to his physician and friend Dr. Warren Langworthy to err on the side of caution. Ironically, he admits his main reason for reaching out to his doctor friend was to nip the cold before it got too bad because he simply couldn’t afford to be off during tax season.

Furthering the irony of the situation, Dr. Langworthy told Jimmy to come in, after hours, to get checked out that night. Jimmy laughed as he said he figured his friend was just a little bored, didn’t have much going on that night, and was simply trying to be nice, offering a good gesture to help his friend stay on his feet during the busy season.

One of the little, also ironic, things Jimmy also remembers from dinner that night, where he ate with his wife Donna at Newk’s, was when a friend of his approached him at dinner, telling him about a stint he had recently had put in.

“I texted Warren at 6:30 p.m. asking him if I could come in in the morning and he told me to come in that night at 8:30,” Jimmy said. “He’s very intuitive as a doctor, very thorough and very good, but I don’t know if even he thought much more of it when he told me to come in that night to get checked.”

When 8 p.m. came, Jimmy grabbed his keys and headed for the door and, oddly enough, Donna said she didn’t have anything going on so she would ride with him to keep him company.

Dr. Langworthy opened up the back door and let his friends in and got started with the check up, first listening to Jimmy’s chest.

“He said ‘You’re not congested. Let’s do an EKG,” Jimmy said, not thinking anything of it. “He started looking at it and told me to hold on. What he was doing was sending pictures to a cardiologist. I still didn’t think anything of it.”

A few moments later, Dr. Langworthy, who was injured himself at the time and using crutches as an aid to get around, gave Jimmy a couple baby aspirin and told him to get in the truck and for Donna to follow them.

“He got in the truck without his crutches and ran three red lights as he drove me to St. Thomas Rutherford,” Jimmy said. “When we got there, he told me to ‘wait here’ while he went inside.

They brought a gurney out, and I did think that was a little weird.”

Upon examination, Dr. Guy Mioton ordered Jimmy to be rushed to Saint Thomas West. Jimmy described Dr. Mioton as having a great manner about him as he calmly told him the situation was serious. They wanted to Life Flight Jimmy to St. Thomas West but due to tornados in the area he had to be transported via ambulance.

Jimmy admits at this point he started catching on to the severity and getting a little nervous. Just an hour prior he was feeling light hearted and joking around with Donna and Dr. Langworthy and now he was being rushed to the second hospital of the night.

Upon arrival at St. Thomas West, Jimmy actually died as they were prepping him for surgery that was supposed to be performed the next day. Thankfully, he was revived.

“I woke up to someone doing chest compressions,” he said. “That was scary. The first thing I heard was someone saying, ‘Can someone calm her (Donna) down?”

They moved Jimmy’s surgery from the following day when it was scheduled to immediately, actually starting the triple bypass open heart surgery at 1 a.m., just a few hours after he’d arrived at his friend’s office hoping to get a decongestant. He had an 85 percent blockage, which is also nicknamed “the widow maker.”

The surgery took about seven hours and Jimmy said he woke up from it in pretty severe pain, yet grateful to be alive. He remained in the hospital for eight days before being dismissed to recover.

“It was tax season so two weeks after the surgery I felt like I had to contribute,” he said. “We do everything paperless here, so I was able to work from home, which was a blessing. I came back to the office April 15, just in time to end it (tax season).”

As he reflects about the life-changing moment that saved his life, Jimmy explained that prior to his situation he was an otherwise very healthy person. His heart disease is due to his genetic history. In fact, Jimmy’s grandfather died fairly young from a heart attack and so did his father, although at the time of his father’s death, which occurred in his sleep, no one officially knew the cause. Jimmy’s incident confirmed what the family had thought was the cause of his dad’s death.

Jimmy is this year’s honoree of the Rutherford Heart Ball, set for Feb. 9. Along with Donna’s help, Jimmy has made it his mission to encourage others to get their regular wellness checks.

Through their encouragement, several of the Jobe’s friends have discovered that they are at high risk of heart disease and have made lifesaving, positive changes in their lives.

Looking back, Jimmy says one of the hardest parts about everything that happened was the emotional journey he faced. Coming out of the surgery, he felt an immense appreciation for everything and everyone.

“Everyone looked beautiful, and my appreciation for everything was overwhelming,” he said. “Of course, overtime some of that subsides, and you wish it wouldn’t, but … So many friends called and came by. It was humbling. I was so grateful, and still am.”

Jimmy believes it was God who intervened and saved his life; things like Dr. Langworthy seeing him that night instead of waiting until the next day seemed simply too coincidental to be an accident.

“I believe God left me here because he had a purpose for me, and I hope he’ll show me what that is,” he said.

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