A few months ago I experienced an unexpected episode…Cardiac Arrest.
People often use the terms heart attack and cardiac arrest as interchangeable, but they are not synonyms. In cardiac arrest the heart rhythm causes the heart to stop beating. Without quick treatment, it causes sudden cardiac death. The national average survival rate is a little over 10% and survival with good neurological function is little more than 8%.
I wasn’t familiar with the information above until after my episode…”I am one lucky guy”.
I can honestly say that my wife loves me…otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this. In the middle of the night she noticed that I was moaning but not breathing…she immediately dialed 911, and with the instructions on the other end of the phone she begin to perform CPR until the first responders arrived. With their training and equipment they took over and after a few minutes I was rushed to the hospital… where my wife was told of the statistics that I listed above. If the roles were reversed I am not sure that I would have been able to deal with those words and expectations…she truly is the better half.
I was told that a series of techniques was used by the doctors and their staff to stabilize me and prepare me for surgery…at which time I received three stents in my heart. My wife was told that the next 24 hours would be critical…and not to expect the best…if I survived.
I was in the hospital for four days…but it wasn’t until 3 days after leaving the hospital that I was made aware of what had occurred….even though I remember nothing during that 7-day period. My wife informed me that after surgery (and regaining consciousness after the critical wait period) that I had normal conversations with friends and the hospital staff…well “almost” normal conversations…once again I had beaten the odds in regard to the neurological functions. My “buddies” tend to disagree with that assessment. My response to them…I went in “brilliant” and came out “normal” just like you guys. That really is “guy humor”.
Seven days after the cardiac arrest my wife and I visited the team of first responders, doctor and the hospital staff to thank them for their help and involvement. I special thanks to the friends that reached out to my wife and gave support and encouragement…to all we are eternally grateful.
Life is a gift with an expiration date, but apparently… it just wasn’t my time.
Side Note: Goggle the American Heart Association and learn more about the cause, prevention, and how to respond to someone experiencing cardiac arrest…learn CPR.