Many people in their early 20s are just beginning to figure out life. The learning came quicker for Fort Stockton pastor Aaron Owens after he had a heart attack one year ago at the age of 22.
Aaron Owens, now 23, remembers the day vividly.
He had started having small chest pains on Thursday, but by Sunday, April 8, 2018 he was feeling fine.
He had called the pharmacy, but they thought he might be having heartburn since he was too young for a heart attack.
Owens preached about the spiritual side of the heart that day at North Side Church. Afterward, he realized that he was having difficulty breathing and had his wife, Dinessah Owens, drive him to the Pecos County Memorial Hospital.
At the hospital, he was given medicine and it was determined that he was having a heart attack. He was flown by helicopter to Odessa for additional care.
“I was never scared or anything,” said Owens.
The doctor diagnosed him with a “widow-maker heart attack” – 100-percent blockage in a main coronary artery – and had two stents placed in his heart. He stayed in the hospital for several days.
Medical staff monitored his heart for the next six months. It went completely back to normal with no medical explanation for the change.
Owens said he looks at the heart attack in a positive light because it gave him a new outlook on life.
He said the event gave him a more positive attitude about mental health and physical health.
Dinessah helped bring him out of his anxiety and got committed to leading a better life in all aspects with him.
“If it wasn't for her I wouldn't be able to maintain this healthy lifestyle,” said Owens
Owens now spends time every day at Rooney Memorial Park doing laps, praying, writing songs and spending time outside.
In the days after the heart attack, Owens said that his church, and his community came together to not only support him, but support his family.
“I'm blessed to live in Fort Stockton where people care so much about you,” he said.
The concern and the care from everyone, even a year later, has resonated with Owens and he uses it in his day to day life as an Associate Pastor.
Owens said that he was given a second chance to make sure that the life he has isn't wasted.
“Don't take the time that we have for granted,” he said. “Make time to do the things that matter the most.”