After a close call and near death experience, Maumelle businessman Tim Clark warned other Maumelle residents of his experience.

Clark said his surgeon encouraged him to tell his story because the surgeon said Clark came within an hour of death a couple weeks back because of a medical emergency.

Although he hadn’t been feeling well, Clark said he couldn’t pinpoint any one area bothering him until late Saturday night on April 20 when he developed a pain in his stomach and side that became progressively worse.

Rather than calling 911 and getting a Metropolitan Emergency Medical Services ambulance to transport him, Clark said he drove himself to Baptist Health Springhill Medical facility in North Little Rock.

That was his first mistake the surgeon told him because he said most people with that severe pain don’t ever make it to the hospital driving themselves.

When he arrived at the emergency room a triage nurse evaluated him and had him wait about two hours before he was seen by physicians. It was only after he phoned a physician friend that he was taken back in the ER for treatment around 2 a.m.. on the 21st, he said.

The surgeon pointed out that had he called 911 and had Maumelle Fire and Rescue and MEMS staff treat him, they could have found the source of his problem much quicker, transported him to the ER and almost assured him of immediate attention rather than waiting two hours while less serious patients were taken ahead of him.

A surgeon who specializes in gall bladder removal performed emergency surgery at 4 a.m. that morning, Clark said.

He said the surgeon showed him and told him his gall bladder not only had eight stones that had developed over months on non-treatment but that gangrene had set in.

If he’d waited one more hour before the surgery he most likely wouldn’t be alive because he would have been septic and almost impossible to treat, Clark said the surgeon told him. His gall bladder had ruptured and he was near death, Clark said.

After a week’s hospital stay, Clark said he’s back at home feeling much better. Next time a severe unusual pain develops, he’ll call 911, Clark said.