LAS VEGAS (AP) — U.S. Rep. Cresent Hardy of Nevada was up on his feet campaigning on Tuesday, just a day after his office announced he had been hospitalized with a minor heart attack.
Hardy, 59, appeared healthy and energetic at a round-table discussion Tuesday at a construction equipment rental business in Las Vegas, where he accepted an endorsement from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He said doctors found he had been living with a collapsed artery on his heart, and they inserted two stents to repair it.
"I actually feel better than I've felt in quite some time," the freshman congressman told reporters after the event. "(The doctor) thinks it's been setting there for a long time, waiting to turn into that thing that can kick you to the dirt."
Hardy said he had been drinking a liquid in preparation for a colonoscopy on Sunday when he started feeling symptoms of a minor heart attack, including pain in his chest and his arm. His wife took him to a hospital in Mesquite, and he was later referred to a hospital in St. George, Utah, that has a cardiologist.
The doctor put in two stents and ordered Hardy to take blood thinners for a year. He's advised not to lift heavy objects to avoid a potentially deadly rupture in the stents, but otherwise he said he's back to normal.
"I have no plans to slow down," he said.
His wife, Peri, said she was worried about her husband and saying her prayers during the ordeal, but was grateful for the outcome. "I'm just glad we caught it when we did," she said.
Hardy faces a tough re-election in Nevada's 4th Congressional District, which leans Democratic and includes North Las Vegas and rural central Nevada. His opponent, Democratic state Sen. Ruben Kihuen, tweeted his well wishes to Hardy shortly after the episode became public.