Jr Williams gets a pacemaker installed

Jr Williams, in the hospital on Wednesday, and getting the oil changed on Thursday

Jr Williams, the gregarious banjo player with NewTown spent the past two days in the hospital getting a pacemaker installed.

He tells us that his heart rate had dropped to a dangerously low rate, and he had no idea it was happening. Like many people do, he took feeling exhausted much of the time as just a symptom of age, and a busy schedule. But recently, an incident occurred that made him sit up and take notice.

“Kati and I were out driving around one day and I started having a strange feeling in my chest. It didn’t subside so we drove to an ER, my heart rate was in the low 40s, so they admitted me into the hospital and started doing some testing. Turns out I have Bradycardia and the only real fix was a pacemaker. My cardiologist, Dr. Craig McCotter here at Baptist Health in Lexington, said it would only get worse and could lead to a heart attack or stroke.”

Fortunately, the procedure didn’t take long, and he only had to stay overnight at the hospital.

“I was out for maybe an hour and a half. They only used one lead into the right upper chamber of my heart, to regulate a normal heartbeat. The doctor said I should feel like a million bucks, I’m OK with that, as long as it doesn’t cost a million bucks!”

He is supposed to take it easy this next week, and not lift anything heavy for the next two weeks, but expects to be as good as new in short order.

Williams also said that with his family medical history, he was fortunate to get this addressed when he did.

“My paternal grandmother had a stroke at 69, and I found out she had an abnormally slow heart rate as well, so a stroke or heart attack was possibly imminent.”

In typical good humor, Jr said it’s all part of the bluegrass creed.

“Play till it kills you!!! And I was literally doing just that!!”

Good news on a successful procedure, and get well soon!

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.