Newspaper Industry News

Charles Town editor recovering from heart attack

From Facebook, a column by Christine Snyder, Life editor of The Spirit of Jefferson

This week’s Page 2 editor’s note is a personal one. We have tried to be as transparent as possible about the Spirit, so when our editor Rob Snyder (also my husband) had a heart attack Saturday and almost died, we felt we had to share that with readers.

Here’s what I wrote:

Most weeks at the Spirit are hectic. There’s always a lot going on around here. Last week saw us extending our regular Tuesday evening deadline to midnight so that we could report the winners of the school board race and other primary election decisions.

From the Facebook page of The Spirit of Jefferson Rob and Christine Snyder
From the Facebook page of The Spirit of Jefferson
Rob and Christine Snyder

Wednesday, we got out the papers and started planning for this week’s – including trying to wrap up our first-ever special section heralding Jefferson County’s latest high school graduates. Thursday, we hurried to announce online the big news that Dave Mills had been selected as Charles Town’s city manager.

Friday, Rob spent the day taking back-to-back photo assignments and conducting interviews including getting a portrait of Mills in front of City Hall and meeting with the lovely Fisher family in Middleway to hear about their efforts to bring attention to the little-known health disorder that is now part of their beautiful 5-year-old daughter’s life.

Saturday should have been restful but Rob had an early-morning appointment in Shepherdstown as a guest on Elliot Simon’s radio show, then caught up on work. I caught up on some work, too, and then got groceries, took 11-month-old Laura to visit my parents for a bit and then checked on my 13-year-old, who was tackling her biggest babysitting gig yet. Finally as dinner time neared, Rob and I happily had a chance to reconnect and headed to a friend’s dinner party.

But Rob was feeling off. His back, usually troublesome, felt worse than ever and he had a tightness in chest that he thought signaled a cold coming on. At the get-together, though, we both enjoyed the chance to talk to so many nice people and sit down to a wonderful meal to boot.

“I am worn out,” he told me around 8 o’clock and we made our way out, determined to finally have a few quiet hours at home, to get the rest that had been all so elusive all week long.

But almost as soon as we began the eight-block walk home, it became clear something was not at all right. Rob was having trouble breathing. His back was wracked with pain. He was sweating and seemed at least a little disoriented – or at least in so much pain that it was hard to think straight.

Only an hour later, an EKG at the ER at Jefferson Medical Center showed what was wrong – a severe heart attack – and a HealthNet crew was prepping Rob for a helicopter flight to Winchester, Va., where an emergency angioplasty cleared a 99 percent blockage in one artery and a 100 percent blockage in the other. By midnight, he was recovering in his room in ICU and starting to again look and feel like himself…

Click here for more on The Spirit of Jefferson’s Facebook page. 

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