ABC News producer Michael Bicks had a feeling something was wrong after dropping out of a long group bike ride a few weekends ago. "Besides the nausea, my only symptoms were a persistent cough and an overwhelming feeling that something was not right... That’s when Tim Russert popped into my head." Bicks looked up the symptoms of cardiac arrest online and, ignoring his instinct that "it really didn't feel like much," drove himself to the hospital, where he learned he was, indeed, having a severe heart attack. He lived to write about it in this morning's Times, where Bicks said there has been a spike in men hauling themselves into hospitals with symptoms like his, and with similar thoughts of Russert:
When I stepped up to admissions desk the nurse asked why I was there. “Mild chest pains,” I said. “How old?” she asked. “Fifty,” I replied.
She nonchalantly turned to the orderly and said, “Hey, Lenny, we got another one.” I guess many men, stunned by Mr. Russert’s sudden death, were doing just the same thing I was.
OK, OK, sure, there are going to be a number of these men tying up hospital emergency rooms with false alarms. And Russert didn't exactly intend to sacrifice himself as some kind of hero to coronary health awareness. But it's nice to see this greater good emerging from the media's somewhat insidery coverage of Russert's death and memorial.