BENTON COUNTY (KFSM) – Benton County Judge Bob Clinard returned to work Tuesday, eight days after undergoing a heart procedure.
Clinard underwent a successful procedure Aug. 25, three days after he was cited at Frisco Fest in Rogers on suspicion of public intoxication. He was taken away in an ambulance and transported to Northwest Medical Center in Bentonville.
The judge said he had been drinking only water at the event. He said he felt disoriented and tried to call his wife to take him home. Instead, authorities saw him and ticketed him, he said.
“I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t talk. I couldn’t hardly move,” Clinard said. “I played golf during the day. I didn’t eat, which was not good. It was hot.”
The judge said his heart rate was up to 200 beats per minute. Medical attention lowered his heart rate on the way to the hospital, Clinard said.
“It saved my life,” he said. “It’s my understanding—I don’t remember this—but they stopped my heart in the EMT, in the ambulance on the way to the hospital and restarted it.”
Clinard said he was diagnosed with non-ischemic cardiomyopathy, meaning the electrical impulse to his heart causes it to beat at an improper rate.
“I have a vest on that is a defibrillator vest and a power pack, and I have to wear that 24-seven for 90 days,” he said. “If something goes out of alignment, this thing will shock me and hopefully get it back into alignment.”
Clinard said he is glad to be back to work and wants to thank everyone who wished him well during his hospital stay.
“It’s been an eye-opening experience,” he said. “It’s just been a tremendous outpouring of care for me and my health, and I appreciate all of that.”