State Rep Has Heart Attack, Leaves Hospital Against Doctor’s Advice

The Rhode Island state representative who collapsed at the state house yesterday is supposed to be in the hospital Friday, but he checked himself out against doctors orders, so he could meet with people in his district.

Representative Chippendale actually had a heart attack Thursday on the House floor. It's all related to his muscular dystrophy, but he obviously felt strongly about attending a pre-planned meeting in Foster.

Michael Chippendale, state rep from Northwestern Rhode Island,  is in severe pain as he meets with constituents in Foster Friday who are in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure. He was out of breath, slow moving,  and his chest was pounding. 

“I felt that I was able to do more making sure this event ran with success rather than just lying in a hospital waiting for Tuesday to come,” said Chippendale.

That's when he'll have heart surgery, which doctors found out he needed after Chippendale collapsed on the House floor last night.  

“We stood for a moment of silence, and I have no recollection of it, but my colleagues tell me that as soon as I stood, I fell backward and landed thankfully on a carpeted floor, but I was unconscious,” said Chippendale.

Chippendale's heart problems are caused by his muscular dystrophy. Friday, even though doctors told him not to leave the hospital, he said he was feeling a little bit better.

Mark Oullette lost his job and is close to losing his house and appreciates Representative Chippendale's efforts.

“It's very important,” said Oullette, “It's good to know the people we elect are here to back us up and stand next to us.” Chippendale said meeting with people who he can help gives him incentive to heal.

“I felt that it was important to make sure it did go off without a hitch and also I will tend to myself and get the testing done that needs to be done,” said Chippendale.

This is Representative Chippendale's first term as a member of the house. He told us he plans to go back to work as soon as he can.