Survivors


Published:

Landon Peacock

For everyone reading this, there is a time and a place where the final chapter of your story will be told, you will breathe your last and you will move on. 

It can be a morbid thought, staring at your own mortality like that. But where there is despair, there is also hope. There is the unending promise of all the moments ahead until that final moment. It’s only in reflecting on that time that we truly see the joy in living them. For these three men, that abstract concept of finality is very real. Each of them have, in their own way, reached the very edge of that precipice, that yawning eternity of the void. And each of them survived, turning that moment where they glimpsed their own finality into something extraordinary. They’ve pressed on with a renewed passion for the life they’ve been given. But first, they had to survive.

 

Landon Peacock

When the Southern Coast Heart Ball convenes on Feb. 3 at Hilton Head Island’s Westin Resort & Spa, it will mark the culmination of a long journey for Landon Peacock.

Serving as the chair of the Open Your Heart campaign has allowed Peacock to open up as well, finally sharing the story of a harrowing event that he has remained largely silent on for seven years. In all that time, he’s avoided talking about that Christmas morning when his heart failed him and he glimpsed his own mortality.

“I sort of cringed whenever someone told that story about me because I just hated hearing it,” he said. “But if I can put that event to good use and raise money and awareness for this great charity then that’s something I should do.”

It’s hard to blame him for not wanting to share his story until now. As an avid runner and a health-conscious 21-year-old, Peacock was by all accounts the picture of vitality. Doctors had blamed nagging chest pains over the course of the year prior to the event on pleurisy, an inflammation of the layer of tissue around the lungs.

"On Christmas morning, my chest pains reached a point where I vomited and almost passed out."

He treated it with Ibuprofen and rest, thinking it was handled until he nearly collapsed Christmas morning at his parent’s Bluffton home.

“My dad took me straight to the hospital; I’m pretty sure he was going double the speed limit all the way to Savannah,” he said. “The only thing I remember is I passed out when I got to the hospital.”

What doctors thought had been pleurisy turned out to be a 90 percent blockage of his LAD artery. Several more doctor visits and a trip to the Mayo Clinic determined the root cause: a rare clotting disorder called Anti-Phospholipid Syndrome.

WHAT MY HEART ATTACK FELT LIKE 
For almost an entire year prior to my heart attack I was in and out of the hospital with chest pains no one could diagnose correctly. It turned out to be severe angina, which typically precedes a cardiac event. On Christmas morning, my chest pains reached a point where I vomited and almost passed out. My parents rushed me to St. Joseph's hospital where anEKG determined I was having a heart attack. That night, doctors placed a stint in my blocked LAD artery, but still couldn’t determine what had caused the event. Mayo Clinic eventually diagnosed me with a blood disease called Antiphospholipid Syndrome, which causes my blood to clot more than it should. I have been on blood thinners since then and have not had further issues.

AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION
This year's Heart Ball of the Southern Coast will be held February 3, 2018 at The Westin Hilton Head
Island Resort & Spa. Purchase tickets at SouthernCoastHeartBall.org.

Now on blood thinners, Peacock says he’s retained around 90 percent of his original heart function, thanks to his healthy lifestyle and young age. But the memory of that Christmas morning remains.

“The terror and pain that people go through when they go through a cardiac event… it was like nothing I’ve ever felt before,” said Peacock. “It’s a feeling where it’s just hard to come back from.”

But Peacock has, at last, come back and is ready to share his story in the hopes of saving lives.

To read the full article, subscribe now or pick up the January/February issue of South Magazine.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

South's Greatest Photographers 2018

We're looking for the greatest, most creative photographers. If that is you, or you know of any, don't hesitate to nominate!

South's Greatest Kids Contest 2017

When it comes to cute, the kids of the South are all way above average! Share the cuteness and nominate your kids today.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Events Calendar

  • #art912, Avanguardia

    Nov 17, 2017
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Jepson Center

    Avanguardia, an exhibition by Savannah-based artist Lisa D. Watson (American, b. 1967), explores the encroachment of the constructed environment on...

  • Scenic Impressions: Southern Interpretations from the Johnson Collection

    Oct 13, 2017
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Telfair Academy

    When the world gets urban, the South gets Southern. That’s one way to sum up Scenic Impressions: Southern Paintings from the Johnson Collection,...

  • PULSE Art + Technology Festival 2018

    Jan 17, 2018
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Jepson Center

    Comprised of innovative digital artworks, projection performances, and engaging family programs, the 12th annual PULSE Art + Technology Festival...

  • Kirk Varnedoe: In the Middle at the Modern

    Sep 22, 2017
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Jepson Center

    Can you have an art exhibition without any artworks? Is a curator an artist? Who or what decides an object’s value? Through the lens of an art...

  • The Candy Apple Happy Hour

    Jun 13, 2017
    3:00 PM @ The Candy Apple Cafe

    Repeats every day until Sun Jun 18 2017  11 am Cocktail Artist Series The restaurant will serve cocktails inspired by select Broadway...

  • Mountainfilm on Tour - Savannah

    Jan 18, 2018
    7:00 PM - 10:00 PM @ Trustees Theater

    Prepare to be inspired! Mountainfilm on Tour in Savannah returns for its 9th year [January 18-20, 2018]. We have an incredible line-up of...

  • Jacob Lawrence, Lines of Influence at SCAD Museum of Art

    Sep 07, 2017
    All Day @ SCAD Museum of Art

    Jacob Lawrence Lines of Influence Sept. 7, 2017 - Feb. 4, 2018 The SCAD Museum of Art and the Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence...

  • Coastal WildScapes Beaches and Barrier Islands

    Jan 20, 2018
    9:00 AM - 3:00 PM @ Richmond Hill City Center

    REGISTRATION 9 am Coffee and Snacks WELCOME 10 am COASTAL WILDSCAPES OF GEORGIA A GEOLOGIC PERSPECTIVE 10:10 am Clark Alexander BREAK 10:45 am...

  • "Beyond the Castle" Book Celebration

    Jan 20, 2018
    10:00 AM - 3:00 PM @ The Church Mouse

    Author, Jody Carbiener Dreyer will host a book celebration on Saturday, Jan. 20, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Church Mouse, 78 Arrow Road on...

  • PULSE Free Family Day and STEAM Expo

    Jan 20, 2018
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Jepson Center

    Telfair’s most popular Family Day includes opportuni­ties to experience all of the 2018 PULSE exhibitions and experiment with technology...

  • “One of These Nights,” The Music of The Eagles

    Jan 20, 2018
    8:00 PM - 10:00 PM @ Tybee Post Theater

    The Eagles are arguably the quintessential American band combining influences of both rock and country into a unique sound that provided the...

  • PULSE Metropolis-Synthesis Screening/Performance

    Jan 21, 2018
    2:00 PM - 4:00 PM @ Jepson Center

    Atlanta-based artists Alessandro Imperato and David Spencer return to PULSE to perform a re-interpretation of Fritz Lang’s 1927 silent film...

  • Lean Ensemble Theater presents 'Good People'

    Nov 28, 2017
    2:00 PM - 4:00 PM @ HHP Main Street Theatre

    Lean Ensemble Theater’s Production of Good People by David Lindsay-Abaire.  Welcome to Southie, a Boston neighborhood where a night on the...

  • National Reading Day

    Jan 23, 2018
    1:00 PM - 2:00 PM @ Hancock Day School

    The Sandfly Women Business Owner’s Coalition will promote literacy efforts on National Reading Day, Tuesday, Jan. 23, by spending time at Hancock...

  • Chocolate Bar Your Way Class

    Jun 14, 2017
    4:00 PM - 5:00 PM @ Sweet Pete's Candy

    4 pm sweetpetescandy.com Learn the art of old fashioned candy making in one of Sweet Pete’s Candy’s most popular classes. Sweet...

  • Daughters of the Dust Film Screening

    Jan 25, 2018
    6:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ Jepson Center

    Julie Dash’s dreamy, visually-striking film, the first wide-release feature by a female African American director, tells the story of the Peazant...

  • American Traditions Vocal Competition Educational Outreach Concert

    Jan 25, 2018
    7:00 PM - 7:00 PM @ Skidaway Island UMC

    Join the American Traditions Vocal Competition (ATC) as they celebrate their first week of educating students in the Savannah-Chatham County Public...

  • Anything Flows Yoga Class

    Jun 15, 2017
    7:00 PM @ Dragon Dance Yoga

    7 pm Anything Flows Yoga Class Walk in rate: $14 Dragon Dance Yoga This class will take you beyond your comfort zone while still...

  • Lean Ensemble Theater presents 'Good People'

    Jan 25, 2018
    7:30 PM - 9:30 PM @ HHP Main Street Theatre

    Lean Ensemble Theater’s Production of Good People by David Lindsay-Abaire.  Welcome to Southie, a Boston neighborhood where a night on the...

  • Carrie Mae Weems: Sea Islands Series, 1991-1992

    Jan 26, 2018
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Jepson Center

    Considered one of the most influential contemporary artists, Carrie Mae Weems (American, b. 1953) has continued to explore the African American...


Show More...

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Scenes of the South

Jazz'd Tapas Bar NYE

Make sure to check out these scenes from the Studio 54 NYE party at Jazz'd Tapas Bar!

Ho Ho Holiday Oyster Roast

Ele & The Chef hosted their 1st annual Ho Ho Holiday Oyster Roast at Current Kitchen & Cocktails on December 17th. All ticket sales benefitted Aiden Cares, an awareness intiitive that encourages giving and serving.

A prevention event by RCC - Step Up and Step In to Stop Bullying

This annual 8k run was held on December 16th at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center, and all proceeds for the event benefited the Rape Crisis Center.

Oyster Roast for a Reason

Check out these photos from the UGA Marine Extension and Georiga Sea Grant Oyster Roast for a Reason. Presented by Oyster South, a regional non-profit organization, the Oyster Roast for a Reason is a fundraising event that celebrates Georgia's first oyster hatchery and helps continue the University of Georgia's efforts to bring the oyster farming industry back to the Georgia coast.

Lip Syncing with Ghost Coast

One epic battle took place on Halloween night, and it all went down at Ghost Coast Distillery in Savannah. Visitors wore their funniest (and scariest!) costumes for the 2017 Halloween event. Many donned costumes that portrayed the singer they would be on stage during the lip sync battle.

Savannah Children's Book Festival 2017

This Saturday brought thousands of visitors to Forsyth Park for the annual Savannah Children's Book Festival. Hosted by the Live Oak Public Libraries, the day-long event showcased the talents of eleven featured authors and thirty-nine indie authors, illustrators, and performing artists from around the country. This year’s festival includes book signings and readings, arts and crafts, community partners and nonprofit organizations, as well as food.

Le Beaujolais nouveau est arrivé!

Thursday night was the night to celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau Day at 39 Rue De Jean in Savannah! The arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau symbolizes the official end of this year’s growing season. Harvest is complete and vintners—especially in France—are ready to celebrate the completion of the harvest. Beaujolais Nouveau is a red wine that is annually released on the third Thursday in November. Nouveau wine undergoes a very short fermentation process, and yields an extremely fresh and fruity wine. Attendees enjoyed heavy hors d’oeuvres, an oyster roast outside on the patio, and Henry Fessy Beaujolais Nouveau.

Taste of Savannah Food and Wine Festival 2017

This signature, festival event was a huge hit at its new location, the Georgia State Railroad Museum! Guests wandered the grounds savoring hundreds of wines, spirits, craft beers and more.

13 Secrets Jewelry One-Year Anniversary

Boutique owners Chad and Manu celebrated the one-year anniversary of 13 Secrets Thursday, Nov. 9. Event highlights included gourmet appetizers by local chefs, a wine tasting, door prizes and great networking opportunities! Here's to another great year!

Celebrity Chef Dinner

A night featuring dishes by some of the South's best, James Beard Awarded, Chef's of 2017. The night included multiple courses, each paired with the perfect wine to complement the flavors. Simply put - a dinner one will not soon forget!