Just nine weeks after he suffered a massive heart attack before a Gladewater Rotary Club meeting, Gregg County Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Tim Bryan told his story Friday to Rotarians in another city.
“Before I begin, I want to know, does anyone know CPR?” Bryan asked before his presentation before the Longview-Greggton Rotary Club.
The crowd responded with laughter, and Bryan told the group that just four weeks earlier, he was not able to speak because he was hospitalized and intubated.
On Feb. 4 — his 49th birthday — Bryan suffered a heart attack while he was preparing to speak at a Gladewater Rotary meeting.
“I was ... about to make this very similar presentation, and right before, right as I was setting up equipment, I had a massive heart attack,” he said. “They call it a widowmaker.”
Bryan said he had a complete blockage in two of his arteries
“I dropped dead ,” Bryan said.
Gladewater Rotarian Leon Word had arrived early for the meeting and was chatting with Bryan when he collapsed. Word performed life-saving CPR until EMS arrived.
Emergency personnel also performed CPR on Bryan and “shocked” him.
“I went to Good Shepherd,” Bryan said. “It’s been a complicated couple of months.”
When he woke up, he was hooked up to a machine in a Dallas hospital, he said.
“Then the snowstorm came, and I spent about four weeks in the hospital,” Bryan said. “I’ll do anything to not shovel snow. I grew up in Chicago …”
Bryan said he has lost about 20 pounds since his heart attack, but he joked that he would not recommend the “diet program.”
“Only by the grace of God, the hard dedicated work of our medical professionals that I am standing here today,” Bryan said.
He added that in the middle of this difficult time, his wife, Tina, is fighting ovarian cancer.
“It’s been kind of difficult for us, and we’re both blessed to be here,” Bryan said.
Bryan gave a presentation on the roles and work that justices of the peace perform in Gregg County. He has worked in the county since 2001 and was elected as a JP in 2014.
Justice of the peace courts have jurisdiction over class C misdemeanor cases, justice court and small claims court cases where the amount in question does not exceed $20,000. The courts also have jurisdiction in eviction lawsuits.
“You can have a judgement without the assistance of an attorney,” Bryan said. He gave an example of a claim filed over an engagement ring.
Bryan said he works with law enforcement to certify death and order autopsies and also issues warrants for arrest, search warrants and emergency protective orders.
Bryan said he will be running for reelection in the fall.
“People say, ‘It’s good to see you,’ ” Bryan said. “It’s damn good to be seen!”