Minister sent to US for heart tests

An irregular heartbeat has forced Education Minister Rolston Anglin to seek additional medical testing in Florida.


Minister Rolston Anglin

Mr. Anglin, who was scheduled to go on a vacation with his family over the next two weeks, told the Caymanian Compass that doctors advised him to attend a heart treatment centre in either Tampa or Miami as soon as possible.

‘They don’t want to take any chances,’ Mr. Anglin said shortly after being released from the Cayman Islands Hospital Saturday afternoon. ‘But I feel fine, and I’m very thankful.’

Mr. Anglin said he awoke Friday around 1am feeling very uncomfortable and noticed that his heart beat was irregular.

‘I got up, walked around, took some deep breaths,’ he said. ‘There was no chest pain, but I was just uncomfortable.’

The minister said he eventually managed to lie back down, but was awakened again at 4.30am with the same symptoms.

‘At that point I got dressed and drove myself to the hospital,’ Mr. Anglin said.

Doctors said Mr. Anglin was admitted with extremely high blood pressure, and were concerned at how much his heart rate was changing. He was eventually transferred to the hospital’s critical care unit so doctors could monitor him constantly.

Mr. Anglin’s heartbeat stabilized early afternoon Friday, but only after he received medication. He remained in the hospital until Saturday for observation.

Doctors could not say for sure what had happened, but Mr. Anglin said they were certain it wasn’t a blocked artery.

‘All the tests to see if I had a heart attack came back negative,’ he said.

He said medical staff said the irregular heartbeat might have been caused by either something the minister ate, his general stress level, or even by signals sent from the brain to the heart.

‘They want to get a more accurate scan…so (the trip to Florida) is really just a precaution,’ Mr. Anglin said.

The minister’s wife and children left for holiday on Friday as scheduled, and Mr. Anglin said he planned to rejoin them as soon as his testing was complete.

‘I didn’t want them to have to go through all this,’ he said.

Health Services Authority officials indicated on Friday that Mr. Anglin, who became a Cabinet minister within the new government in May, may have been going at the job a bit too hard of late.

Authority Medical Director, Dr. Greg Hoeksema, was scheduled to provide more details about Mr. Anglin’s condition at a press briefing this morning.