Marlar thanks MRMC for expert heart attack care


COLUMBIA, Tenn. — When Slim Marlar and his wife were moving to their Lynnville, Tennessee, farm in 2020, they had a discussion about the remoteness of their property and proximity to emergency health care. They had no idea how important that discussion would be a few years later.

One day in March of 2023, Marlar was doing some outdoor projects around their home when he didn’t feel quite right. He felt severe pain spread from the joints in his wrists and shoulders through his chest that was so bad he couldn’t change out of his dirty shirt and boots — he knew something was terribly wrong and that he needed to find help quickly.

Upon arriving at the Emergency Department at Maury Regional Medical Center, Marlar and his wife thought he was having a reaction to medication he was taking for a poison oak rash. The MRMC staff immediately knew he was having a heart attack, though, and it was confirmed after an electrocardiogram.

He quickly met with Kevin M. Maquiling, MD, a specialist in interventional cardiology, who explained that Marlar was having a heart attack. He was taken to the cardiac catheterization laboratory for an angioplasty procedure and stent placement.

“From the nurse at the front desk of the ER to the cath lab staff, they knew exactly what was going on and exactly what to do,” Marlar said. “I believe had it not gone that way, there was a fairly significant risk of dying on the spot or having significant heart damage. I had neither of those occur, thankfully.”

Marlar is forever grateful for the lifesaving care he received. He was back to himself a couple of days after the heart attack and since has been able to continue his very active lifestyle — in addition to working outdoors religiously, he’s an ice hockey player and exercises regularly.

MRMC’s cardiac catheterization laboratory has also helped him work towards getting FAA approval to fly again.

“The entire cath lab team has just been spectacular with how efficient and effective they’ve been through this whole process,” he said. “They’ve really been a pleasure to work with — you don’t find that everywhere you go.”

Marlar, 58, is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. He routinely received medical examinations, including electrocardiograms annually, as a part of his service and career as a pilot, and never showed any concerning heart irregularities. He also doesn’t have a family history of heart disease or heart attack.

“I eat a balanced diet, too, but you never know. The physicians have explained to me that it could happen at any moment to anyone,” he said.

It’s important to understand the symptoms of heart attack. Call 911 immediately if these symptoms are present:

  • Chest discomfort, such as pressure, tightness or pain
  • Discomfort in other parts of upper body (arm, jaw, back or neck)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Nausea, light-headedness or cold sweat

MRMC’s cardiac catheterization laboratory includes state-of-the-art technology that assists an expert team of heart specialists in investigating heart conditions and performing several interventional procedures, including angioplasty and stenting as well as pacemaker and defibrillator implants.

The medical center has been recognized as a Chest Pain Center with PCI by the American College of Cardiology and holds certification in the treatment of heart failure from The Joint Commission. It also recently received three-year reaccreditation in echocardiography from the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission.

For a full list of heart care services offered at Maury Regional Medical Center and more information, visit

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