Pickleball champ who survived two heart attacks thanks UH doctors

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PARMA, Ohio (WJW) – It’s often said in life, “It takes a village.”

In Bill Regan’s case, it took a village in Parma to save his life.

The 79-year-old pickleball champ suffered two heart attacks six months apart – on November 9, 2020, and on May 26, 2021.

“I had my first heart attack at 79, I figured I wouldn’t have my next one until I was 148,” Bill joked at the hospital.

Tuesday he returned to University Hospitals Parma Medical Center to thank friends, doctors, caregivers, nurses, and paramedics who made sure he’d be around to celebrate his 80th birthday.

“You never think about losing your life,” Bill said.

Following both cardiac events, Bill had just left a pickleball court in Parma that was within two miles of the hospital.

“That elephant that sat on my chest, he was BIG,” Bill said in a press release.

Bill collapsed. Two friends were with him, Jim Gipper and Dave Szuter.

Gipper is a retired Cleveland firefighter.

Szuter is a retired Brunswick police officer.

They performed CPR and called 911.

Parma police and EMS were soon on the scene and took Bill to UH Parma.

Bill was back on the pickleball court the week after his discharge in May.

Bill is a father of five and grandfather of 13.

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