Sunrise Health
July 06, 2020

Willie Nelson Impersonator shares the importance of seeing heart doctor during pandemic

Las Vegas, NV - In 2000 Willie Nelson told Roy Hammick early on in his career, “I hope you enjoy being me as much as I do”. Roy Hammick was able to meet the very man he has been impersonating for over 22 years with appearances in shows on the Strip and around the world. He still impersonates him to this day.

Impersonators are few and far between during the COVID-19 pandemic and something Roy has enjoyed doing since the late 1990’s. Roy, 84 and a resident of Las Vegas since 2002 recently experienced an emergency that landed him in the hospital, it was a small setback for “Willie” as the name he sometimes goes by, but nothing has stopped him from doing what he loves.

Upon his discharge and being diagnosed with atrial fibrillation or AFib, an irregular heartbeat, he was referred by a friend to Jonathan Rhee, MD an Interventional Cardiologist at Las Vegas Heart Associates.  

“The first doctor I met with I sat in the waiting room for at least an hour before I was seen” said Roy. “I gave Dr. Rhee a shot for a second opinion and I couldn’t be happier”. Dr. Rhee is now Roy’s cardiologist and was able to see him with no wait. Roy shared what a positive environment Las Vegas Heart Associates had on him during his visit, “The staff was so friendly and made me feel so comfortable. The wonderful nurses and Dr. Rhee had me reassured during my visit”, said Roy. For a recent follow-up appointment, Roy was able to see Dr. Rhee virtually with a telehealth visit from the comfort of home using Facetime, “Dr. Rhee was right on time for my appointment, I didn’t feel rushed and it was a great way to see my doctor”, said Roy. “Dr. Rhee makes you feel relaxed and not afraid to tell him anything, he’s like a good friend you can talk to”. Today, Roy is feeling great but has advice for anyone that doesn’t feel themselves, “Go get care, even if it’s late or the middle of the night, in my case. I just knew something was wrong.”

Dr. Jonathan Rhee, board-certified in Interventional Cardiology shares, “Comprehensive treatment of AFib involves not only managing the arrhythmia and associated symptoms, but also mitigating the risk of stroke and other cardiovascular complications that can potentially ensue.”

What are warning signs and possible symptoms of AFib to look out for:

  • General fatigue
  • Rapid and irregular heartbeat
  • Fluttering or “thumping” in the chest
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath and anxiety
  • Weakness
  • Faintness or confusion
  • Fatigue when exercising
  • Sweating
  • Chest pain or pressure

Chest pain or pressure can be signs of a serious medical emergency. You may be having a heart attack. Call 911 immediately.

tags: covid-19