Lying on an operating table not sure what to expect, Cole Lindley grabbed his iPod and started it up, hoping to find some distraction.
The Deer Creek baseball standout had just graduated the day before, shortly after completing a stellar senior season with the Antlers.
But as he looked down and turned on Mumford and Sons' “The Cave,” Cole found a bit of calm in the music as doctors started the surgery he'd both waited for and feared for the last seven months.
As the music continued — he had the first song planned out but just let his iPod go after Cole felt each of about 10 shots on each side of his leg where local anesthetics were injected. He felt the heart catheter start its way up the femoral artery in his leg up to his heart. He felt the catheter, once it arrived, “tickle” his heart.
“It was a strange feeling and very uncomfortable,” Cole said.
For five hours, Cole stayed on the table, listening to music and hoping and praying that it would end quickly and that the surgery would work.
As unpleasant as the surgery was, it worked.
And Monday, Cole will check in for the All-State Games in Tulsa. Tuesday, he'll suit up for the Large West in his last competitive baseball game.
“It's been awesome,” Cole said. “I don't have to take medicine every day. It's back to normal life. I'm thanking God every day that I'm back.”
Cole's problems began more than a year earlier.
During the spring of 2012, he began feeling his heart start to race during class.
A check of his pulse put him at more than 130 beats per minute, nearly twice the normal resting heart rate of someone his age.
“Everything would just exhaust me,” Cole said. “Getting out of bed and taking a shower would feel like I'd just run a mile. I couldn't figure out why I was getting so tired just running from first to second.”
His pediatrician referred him to a cardiologist, who ordered an EKG that didn't show much.
The next step was fitting Cole with a heart monitor so they could track when an arrhythmia started.
The monitor was supposed to stay on for 30 days but 48 hours later, the doctor called Cole back to his office.
But doctors still couldn't find the problem until August, when they pinpointed a ventricular tachycardia — a fast heartbeat originating in one of the heart's lower chambers — during a heart catheter.
Lindley's heart had created an extra electrical pathway, likely caused by a virus in the months before the issue began.