DEAR DOCTOR K: My husband recently had a heart attack. Fortunately, he's doing well. But I'd like to understand better what happens to the heart during a heart attack.
DEAR READER: The heart is a special kind of muscle that keeps blood circulating throughout your body. Your husband's heart doesn't just pump blood to the rest of his body; it also pumps blood to itself -- it needs that blood to survive. Your husband's heart attack occurred when a blood clot blocked a coronary artery -- an artery that provides blood to his heart muscle. This prevented the artery from delivering oxygen-rich blood to a specific part of his heart's muscular wall.