Bacchus: 'I felt a really sharp pain on my chest'


Senior Sports Reporter

VERSATILE basketball/softball/baseball player turned coach Bacchus Rolle never dreamt that he would have found himself in the position that he was in at the Archdeacon William Thompson Softball Park at the Southern Recreation Grounds on Saturday.

While participating in a New Providence Oldtimers Softball Association game for the Quality Home Center (Q-Club) Divers, Rolle went to the dug-out feeling ill. He thought he was suffering from a heat stroke, but after he was rushed to Doctor’s Hospital, it was discovered that he had a cardiac arrest.

“In about the fourth inning of the game, I felt very exhausted and fatigued,” Rolle told The Tribune on Monday after he recalled what happened. “I felt a really sharp pain on my chest.

“Through the support of some of the guys and with the help of Dr Sawyer, who was on the park, they encouraged me to call the ambulance. They took me to Doctor’s Hospital and I had a procedure to clear the clogged up artery. One of my vessels in the heart was blocked.”

After undergoing a successful surgery on Saturday night, Rolle was discharged yesterday and was eager to get home to get some much needed rest.

“Thanks to God, it could have been a lot worse,” said Rolle, who participates in a number of social and community activities, including junkanoo.

“You’re out there exercising and taking care of your body, but these things happen. Thank God I can live to share my testimony bow that it’s over and done with.”

Under doctors’ orders, Rolle said he will have a complete change in his lifestyle as he will be under medication and away from his job at the Bahamas Power and KLight Company for at least another 6-8 weeks.

“Saturday was a very scary day for me and my family,” said Rolle, who was next to his wife, Kimberley Rolle as the interview was conducted. “I feel 100 percent better than I felt on Saturday.”

In addition to all of the activities that he’s involved in, Rolle also serves as the heads coach of the University of the Bahamas Mingoes men’s basketball team. That chore as the team prepares for the upcoming season, including their appearance in the New Providence Basketball Association, will be left to assistant coach Lavar Johnson.

“We have some big games coming up in October with some teams traveling here to play us,” Rolle revealed of the plans for Johnson to carry on his absence. “He’s going to have to pull that together and show that we can compete. He’s up to it.

“He’s a very knowledgable coach. He’s been with me for the past two years, so he kind of have an idea of what we want to do. I have every confidence that he will do very well. But he know he can call me at anytime for any assistance.”

As he set for his recuperation at home, Rolle thanked everybody who called, visited or sent their love and prayers, including the sporting and junkanoo communities.

“I am just thankful to all of the love and support that I received,” he said. “I won’t ever forget that.”

With his 47th birthday coming up on Wednesday, Rolle said he try to keep in shape, although he developed a little waist line. But he said not in a hundred years would he have believed that he would have had a heart attack.

“It’s a life changing episode, a change in lifestyle and even my diet,” he stressed. “I’m a man who can eat a pan of macaroni in one setting. That won’t happen ever again.”

Normally as a part of his birthday celebrations, Rolle said he pay a visit to his doctor for a check up and go to the dentist. On Wednesday, he will limit his activities to a quiet day at home as he enjoy life.

“We just thank God that he’s not six-feet below the ground,” said Kimberley Rolle, who serves as the Athletic Director at the University of the Bahamas. “Any day above ground is a good day.

“If he gets to be 47 above ground, we will be grateful for that because it could have gone another way.”

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