Girl Scouts host dinner for heart attack survivor

Published 8:14 pm Thursday, September 15, 2016

No one expects to have a heart attack at age 36.

But that’s exactly what happened to Matthew Dixon at the end of June. His wife Kara took him to the hospital for chest pain, but Dixon was impatient — sure it was probably indigestion and wanting to return to work.

“They made me promise I would go back if I had anymore trouble with my chest,” Dixon recalled.

Upon returning to work, it wasn’t 30 minutes before his symptoms came back with a vengeance. This time, doctors knew it was a heart attack and had Dixon airlifted to Greenville.

“At first I thought I was going to die. … All I could feel is my chest feeling like it was going to explode,” he said. “I really remember only bits and pieces.”

Thanks to quick action and perhaps a little divine intervention, Dixon made it through his heart attack alive. Recovering and getting back on his feet again was a tough feat after his double bypass surgery, but Dixon said the doctors were impressed with how quickly he progressed.

“The doctor said I was going to break every record they have,” he said. “I have my good days and I have my bad days, and I just take it day by day now.”

Dixon admits he isn’t one to take any handouts — even with the crippling amount of medical bills piling up.

That’s when Kim Boyd, Girl Scout Troop 1016 leader to two of Dixon’s daughters, decided to step in. Despite Dixon’s protests, Boyd organized a fundraiser event for Friday, selling pancakes and sausage at the Chocowinity Volunteer Fire Department to raise money for the family, as well as a carwash next weekend.

“Matthew and Kara are always there to lend a helping hand in any way they can.  We felt like it was our turn to return the kindness,” Boyd said. “What better lesson to teach our girls about being friendly and helpful, making the world a better place and being a sister to every Girl Scout than to help a family in need so close to home and to all of us.”

When speaking about the fundraiser, Dixon couldn’t help tearing up.

“It’s kind of hard not to get emotional. To me, it just shows that there’s actually good people in this world,” he said. “It means a lot.”

Not only that, he said he thinks his experience is a lesson from God to change his outlook on life.

“I was getting tired of getting stepped on,” Dixon recalled. “It was an opportunity for me to humble myself back down. … I was able to get rid of all of that.”

With his faith getting stronger and his health improving every day, Dixon continues to improve. He was able to return to work a couple of weeks ago.

“The girls, all of them are so sweet and the leaders are too,” he said. “Just thank you to everybody.”

The pancake and sausage dinner fundraiser for the Dixon family will be Friday from 5-7 p.m. at Chocowinity Volunteer Fire Department, 512 N.C. Highway 33 East, Chocowinity.