Trident Health System
February 09, 2021

North Charleston, SC (February 9, 2021) On Friday, February 12 at 12:30 pm Trident Medical Center will host the inaugural Shoot for the Heart Free Throw Contest to celebrate heart attack survivors and raise money for the American Heart Association. The event celebrates heart attack and head trauma survivor 76 year old Dave Corless and the first responders who helped save his life at the Summerville YMCA in January 2020. In 1961 and 1962 Corless won back to back South Carolina basketball championships playing with North Charleston High School. The event will be broadcast as a Facebook Live event. It’s suggested donations be made on the total number of free throws made, but any donation is appreciated. The free throw shooters will shoot for 10 minutes. To donate text LowCountryAHA to 71777.

Other participants include:

  • Shasta Henderson, MD - Dr. Henderson is an ortho/trauma surgeon with Trident Orthopedic Specialists. She also played guard for Columbia University.
  • Ali VanMetter, PT -VanMetter is a physical therapist at Trident Medical Center. She also played guard for Penn State.
  • Dondi Constin, PHD - Dr. Costin is the President of Charleston Southern University. He also served more than 30 years in the U.S. Force and retired as a Major General. Among his many duties was serving at The Pentagon as Air Force Chief of Chaplains.

“Our family often says ‘God is good’”, said Kathy Corless, Dave’s wife. “ But, this past year has made us even more aware of how He works in our lives and the lives of others. We are so happy to be celebrating his first year of surviving a heart attack and head trauma rather than mourning his loss .” In March Dave and Kathy will celebrate their 49 th wedding anniversary.

Corless’ journey began on January 25, 2020 when, after working out at the Summerville YMCA he had a heart attack and suffered a head trauma when he fell. He stopped breathing and didn’t have a pulse for at least 10 minutes while three men, all former law enforcement officers, conducted CPR and used an Automatic Electronic Defibrillator (AED) to shock his heart.

Trident Medical Center ER physician Geoffrey Gray, MD explained, “The fast response of the team at the Summerville YMCA and the men who performed CPR were critical to giving Dave a chance of survival while first responders were enroute to our ER.”

On February 25, 2020 a celebration was held at Trident Medical Center to mark Dave’s discharge after spending nearly a month in the hospital. He spent much of his time in the hospital’s Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit where he underwent intensive therapy to help him regain mobility and speech. Kendall Ware, one of the men on the scene that day said at the celebration event, “We lost him. He wasn’t responding to the CPR. So, it’s just incredible to see him here today, alive and well.”

February is recognized nationally as Heart Month. In South Carolina, the number of residents with heart disease tells a disturbing story according to interventional cardiologist Frederick Funke, MD, who is also the hospital’s medical director of cardiology. “Unfortunately, the numbers tell the story of too many residents who smoke, who are overweight, who have diabetes, who have high blood pressure and who don’t exercise. Each of these is a risk factor for heart disease. But, I see many patients in their 40s and 50s who already have multiple risk factors.”

According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control:

  • Heart disease was the leading cause of death in South Carolina in 2018.
  • In 2018, 10,460 South Carolinians died from heart disease.
  • Being overweight increases the risk of heart disease by 32 percent.
  • People with uncontrolled hypertension (high blood pressure) are three times more likely to die of heart disease.

“You can’t wish heart disease away,” said Darren Sidney, MD, with Charleston Heart Specialists. He is also the medical director of Trident Medical Center’s electrophysiology program. “Even my patients who are the most disciplined find it challenging to change a life time of bad habits and live a heart healthy lifestyle on their own. If you don’t have a primary care physician I suggest you get one today. They will help you develop a heart healthy plan that is specific to your health needs.”

To find a physician call Trident Medical Center’s free physician referral resource Consult A Nurse at (843) 797-3463.