Ole Miss Professor Honored at Hearts and Hoops Event with Baptist Team

Feb 16 • 2017

In the summer of 2016, Joe Turner Cantu, Professor of Theatre Arts and head of the Acting program in Ole Miss’ Department of Theatre Arts, experienced a heart attack. The actor, trainer, director and playwright had been experiencing warning signs for several weeks, but thought his pain was the result of a pinched nerve.

The day he experienced the heart attack, he was awoken from sleep early that morning. Realizing that the pain was more severe this time, he came into the emergency room at Baptist Memorial Hospital – North Mississippi and was immediately diagnosed with a heart attack. Less than an hour after he came in, his arteries causing the heart attack were opened.  This allowed the blood flow to return to his heart, which stopped the heart attack in its tracks.

After his experience, Joe participated in cardiac rehabilitation for physical conditioning and education. This program helped him to make changes to his lifestyle and prevent additional heart problems. On January 31st, Cantu was presented on-court with a game ball by the Ole Miss Assistant AD at the Hearts and Hoops event, along with the Ole Miss Men’s Basketball team. Sponsored by Baptist North Mississippi, the event kicked off American Heart Month and heart health awareness. Also beside Cantu on the court was his cardiologist, Dr. Mark Campbell; the cath lab crew that saved his life; and his cardiac rehab team.

Do you know the symptoms of a heart attack?

Knowing how to recognize the symptoms of a heart attack could save your life. If you notice one or more of the following warning signs, call 911 immediately:

  • Chest discomfort, often in the center of the chest; lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back; can feel like pressure, fullness, squeezing, or pain
  • Discomfort in one of both arms, back, jaw, stomach, or neck
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort
  • Cold sweats
  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness

Are you concerned about your risk for a heart attack or another form of heart disease? Speak with your doctor today to find out what steps you can take to change your lifestyle and reduce your risk.