HOUSTON - A Houston icon admitted himself to a hospital Tuesday after experiencing symptoms of a ministroke or heart attack.
About 24 hours later, on Wednesday afternoon, Jim McIngvale, owner of Gallery Furniture, was released.
McIngvale is more widely known as "Mattress Mack" after his decades of furniture commercials. He has become a beloved member of the Houston community after his years of philanthropic efforts, including most recently housing victims of Hurricane Harvey in some of his stores.
Here's a closer look at what McIngvale said brought him to the hospital.
“I feel better, you know, I’ve been down here since about noon and had lot of tests and MRIs and hopefully the tests come out positive so I can get out of here tomorrow and go back to work,” McIngvale said from his hospital bed on Tuesday night.
The 68-year-old took himself to St. Luke's Hospital in the Texas Medical Center and said he was going to be evaluated over the next 24 hours.
He said he felt fine, but wanted to make sure nothing happened.
“My friend died suddenly Sunday morning, he’s 64 years old and I’m 68, so a lot of times when you have these episodes, ministrokes as I call them, you tend to say, ‘I’ll tough it out and get through it,’ so after his death on Sunday, I decided better to be safe than sorry,” McIngvale said.
He credits the acronym F.A.S.T for helping him recognize the symptoms of a stroke.
“On a stroke, it’s ‘Face’, which I had, ‘Arm’ which I had, ‘Speech,’ my speech was OK, but you got to get it under control F.A.S.T., that’s the other part of the acronym, so I came down here and the good folks here at St. Luke’s did a great job of taking care of me,” McIngvale said.
McIngvale said he was eager to get back to his store.
“It all depends on the tests, so far the test, knock on wood, have been positive, so hopefully, we’ll get some more tests done tonight and tomorrow and I’ll be able to go back to work for our big Fourth of July sale,” he said. “So I’m looking forward to that and being back with my people, my life’s work is being with the customers, and with the community and that’s what I want to get back to doing.”
He encouraged anyone who feels the symptoms of a ministroke or a heart attack to go get checked out immediately.
He also wants people to make sure they take care of themselves.
“Too often, I’ve neglected my health at this stage of my life. I’m certainly on top of it, so I think it’s important for all of us Houstonians and Texans to take care of ourselves and get well so we can, in turn, take care of our community, which is very important to all of us,” he said. “We’re blessed in Houston to have the Texas Medical Center, and lots of great hospitals around the entire area. Go to the hospital and check it out because sometimes it’s the calm before the storm, and the storm really can affect the rest of your quality of life if not, be fatal.”
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McIngvale said he’s beyond grateful for the support from the community.
“Thanks to all the Houstonians and Texans and people around the country that are wishing me well and thanks to the great doctors and nurses down here at St. Lukes taking care of me and the people that are praying for me. That means a lot,” he said.
Send Mattress Mack messages of support by texting 281-844-1963.
He also posted a video online speaking to his customers, family and the community about his health. Watch the full video below.
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