GRAHAM, N.C. — Boyd Hudson never thought a “boys’ day” with his grandson would lead to a trip to the doctor, but it did.
On Jan. 14, Hudson and his grandson Andrew were enjoying an outing to the Children’s Museum of Alamance County.
Andrew played with foam blocks, his favorite area of the museum, but something else caught his attention.
He was intrigued by the Listen to Your Heart exhibit, which helps children understand the heart and its rhythm through a drum beat.
Once a person puts his or her hands on the display, the drum beat will simulate that person’s heartbeat.
After Andrew placed his hands on the exhibit, he asked his grandfather to give it a try.
Hudson put his hands on the display, and quickly knew something was wrong.
“It was very erratic when it was beating,” he said.
“I’m a respiratory therapist. I’ve been at Duke Medical Center for more than 20 years and as soon as I saw it, I’m thinking, ‘I’m in AFib,’” Hudson said.
Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat that can lead to stroke or even heart failure.
Hudson returned to the museum the next day to have an employee film a video that he could show his doctor.
The doctor confirmed that he was experiencing AFib.
Even with Hudson’s medical experience, it was a surprise.
“I had not had any chest pain. I had felt fatigued, I was tired a lot, but I had attributed that to obstructive sleep apnea,” he said.
The Listen to Your Heart exhibit has been at the Children’s Museum of Alamance County since October 2012.
“We’re pretty proud of it. We never thought that something like this would happen,” said Michele Davis, executive director of the Children’s Museum of Alamance County.
Hudson calls this particular “boys’ day” a blessing.
Hudson is currently on blood thinners and is scheduled to have an electrical cardioversion to place his heart into a normal rhythm.