Just a short twelve months ago, Seth Havens passed away following a massive coronary attack—he was in peak physical condition and just a month shy of his 38th birthday. Anyone that had the pleasure of knowing Seth Havens was better because of it.
Seth’s day started the same way it did most days – a 5:00 AM visit to the gym. After about an hour at the gym, Seth sought the help of a workout friend because he felt like he “couldn’t get himself together.” Seth told him that resting for the past 30 minutes hadn’t made him feel any better. They consulted a nurse they knew by phone and the nurse asked if Seth felt like he had an elephant on his chest. Seth said no, that he instead felt pain radiating down both of his arms and that it felt like something was trying to explode out of his chest. The nurse thought that maybe Seth had just overdone it at the gym and recommended that Seth go take a cold shower or get something to eat.
They sat together for another hour hoping that Seth would start to feel better, but he only felt worse. Seth kept thanking his friend for his care and apologizing for taking up so much of his morning and potentially making him late to work. At that point, they agreed that it was time to seek medical attention. Seth was too weak make it down the stairs at the gym, so they took the elevator, but only made it out to the grassy area outside before Seth needed to stop and rest. Seth didn’t want to worry his wife, Kelly, but texted his business partner to let him know he wasn’t feeling well and that he’d be in late.
They arrived at an urgent care facility around 7:45am but the facility didn’t open for another 15 minutes and the staff would not open the door despite banging on the glass. Once the doors opened, Seth’s friend filled out paperwork and they waited patiently until Seth was called back to an exam room, where they at last told the staff that Seth was having chest pain. In a matter of minutes, on that table in the exam room, Seth had the heart attack that took his life and he never regained consciousness.
Seth moved to Amarillo when he was 3 years old and you will not find a more proud Amarilloan. In his 37 years, he built an amazing life in his hometown. His love of life, travel, adventure and most importantly his servant heart towards anyone he met was infectious. He was the patriarch of his family, outstanding father and brother, amazing husband, dedicated friend, magnanimous business owner, and loved his extensive “chosen family.” Just as he loved his family, he would go to battle for each friend as if they were his brother. Seth loved music and started singing and playing the drums in a band when he was just a young teenager. His talents led him and his bandmates to tour with the All American Rejects and Bowling for Soup, and they even opened for Eddie Money and Rick Springfield. Whether it was a stage or a company picnic, Seth loved helping people dance and get lost, even for just for a bit, in the rhythm of the music.
Seth’s work ethic was unmatched. He started cleaning rental equipment at Rabern Rental as a teenager and worked his way to a partner of the company in 2015. For almost two decades he committed himself to growing the business, and one of his proudest achievements was providing a workplace and a living for many families. Seth started at the bottom and achieved his goal of becoming an owner of Rabern Rental. Seth lived by the moto, “nothing supersedes hard work.” He led by example. If the drivers were busy, Seth would deliver equipment. If equipment needed to be washed or “made ready for rent,” Seth was out there helping his team succeed. Seth’s work ethic didn’t stop at work. He was the most incredible husband and father. His wife Kelly describes him as “sent by the good Lord himself” with “more wonderful qualities than any wife could imagine.” Seth was a tremendous cook and would do anything to help around the house to provide joy and happiness for his family. The first thing Seth would do when he came home from work was kiss his wife and play with his son. He was the most thoughtful and caring father a boy could have. Seth put in the work to be a great father and husband, and all of his friends received a steady dose of how proud of he was of his wife and son. He looked forward to showing and teaching his son how to be a great man. Seth’s son Cress was 9 months old when Seth passed.
Seth frequently participated in Movember to raise money for Men’s health awareness. The man could grow an impressive mustache and a full beard. Some of his friends and co-workers might have been a bit jealous. To continue his spirit of giving, a decision was made to raise funds related specifically related to heart health. After research into anything that might have saved Seth, a decision was made to raise funds to provide AEDs to charities in Dallas and Amarillo that (i) had a significant amount of different people in and out of their facilities, and (ii) served a diverse population. The response to the fundraiser was unbelievable and the gracious giving is yet another tribute to Seth’s impact. With the gracious help of AED123, 10 charitable organizations were identified, and 19 AEDs were donated and are now at the ready to help save lives.
We hope that Seth’s story will be a reminder to seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if your symptoms aren’t typical of a heart attack. If you are having chest pain, don’t wait. Call 911 and then use the nearest AED.