Big Pun struggled with his weight for most of his life; his weight fluctuated in the early 1990s between obese and morbidly obese. Big Pun partook in a weight-loss program in North Carolina, in which he lost 80 pounds, but he eventually quit the program before completing it, returning to New York and gaining back the weight he had lost. On February 7, 2000, Big Pun suffered a fatal heart attack and respiratory failure while temporarily staying with family at a Crowne Plaza Hotel in White Plains, New York during a home renovation. Pun was pronounced dead at the hospital after paramedics could not revive him. Big Pun was at his highest weight at the time of his death, being 698 pounds. He was cremated a few days later.
Hip Hop Awareness
Most heart attacks are caused by a blood clot that blocks one of the coronary arteries. The coronary arteries bring blood and oxygen to the heart. If the blood flow is blocked, the heart is starved of oxygen and heart cells die.
A hard substance called plaque can build up in the walls of your coronary arteries. This plaque is made up of cholesterol and other cells. A heart attack can occur as a result of plaque buildup.
- The plaque can develop cracks or tears. Blood platelets stick to these tears and form a blood clot. A heart attack can occur if this blood clot completely blocks oxygen-rich blood from flowing to the heart. This is the most common cause of heart attacks.
- The slow buildup of plaque may almost block one of your coronary arteries. A heart attack may occur if not enough oxygen-rich blood can flow through this blockage. This is more likely to happen when your body is stressed (for example, by a serious illness).
The cause of heart attacks is not always known. Heart attacks may occur:
- When you are resting or asleep
- After a sudden increase in physical activity
- When you are active outside in cold weather
- After sudden, severe emotional or physical stress, including an illnessA heart attack is a medical emergency. If you have symptoms of a heart attack, call 911 or your local emergency number right away.
- DO NOT try to drive yourself to the hospital.
- DO NOT DELAY. You are at greatest risk of sudden death in the early hours of a heart attack.
Chest pain is the most common symptom of a heart attack. You may feel the pain in only one part of your body, or it may move from your chest to your arms, shoulder, neck, teeth, jaw, belly area, or back.
The pain can be severe or mild. It can feel like:
- A tight band around the chest
- Bad indigestion
- Something heavy sitting on your chest
- Squeezing or heavy pressure
The pain usually lasts longer than 20 minutes. Rest and a medicine called nitroglycerin may not completely relieve the pain of a heart attack. Symptoms may also go away and come back.
Other symptoms of a heart attack include:
- Light-headedness, dizziness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Palpitations (feeling like your heart is beating too fast or irregularly)
- Shortness of breath
- Sweating, which may be very heavy
Some people (the elderly, people with diabetes, and women) may have little or no chest pain. Or, they may have unusual symptoms (shortness of breath, fatigue, weakness). A “silent heart attack” is a heart attack with no symptoms.
You will most likely first be treated in the emergency room.
- You will be hooked up to a heart monitor, so the health care team can look at how your heart is beating.
- The health care team will give you oxygen so that your heart doesn’t have to work as hard.
- An intravenous line (IV) will be placed into one of your veins. Medicines and fluids pass through this IV.
- You may get nitroglycerin and morphine to help reduce chest pain.
Abnormal heartbeats (arrhythmias) are the leading cause of death in the first few hours of a heart attack. These arrythmias may be treated with medications or cardioversion.
Angioplasty is a procedure to open narrowed or blocked blood vessels that supply blood to the heart. Usually a small, metal mesh tube called a stent is placed at the same time.
- Angioplasty is often the first choice of treatment. It should be done within 90 minutes after you get to the hospital, and no later than 12 hours after a heart attack.
- A stent is a small, metal mesh tube that opens up (expands) inside a coronary artery. A stent is often placed after angioplasty. It helps prevent the artery from closing up again.
You may be given drugs to break up the clot. It is best if these drugs are given within 3 hours of when you first felt the chest pain. This is called thrombolytic therapy.
Some patients may also have heart bypass surgery to open narrowed or blocked blood vessels that supply blood to the heart. This procedure is also called open heart surgery.