Save Date: 09/26/03
September 26, 2003 is a day that I will never forget. I went into work a little late that Friday after my wife and I picked her friend up at the airport in Philadelphia. Little did we know at that time that Jeri would be spending her entire week's vacation in the waiting area at the hospital. I was standing in my paralegal's doorway when I turned to go into my office. That is the last thing I remember until waking up in the ER a couple of hours later. I just blacked out with no warning.
I was later told that an associate attorney started CPR while my staff called 911. The police officers arrived within two minutes and fortunately had an AED with them. The second shock restored my heart rhythm. It was the first save for both of these officers. The EMT's arrived in about ten minutes, stabilized me and transported me to the nearest ER. That is where I woke up feeling pain in my left ankle. Before they put me on the helicopter to the hospital in Philadelphia, the x-rays showed a fracture just above the ankle from my fall when I passed out. All I could think of was that fracture and the fact that I couldn't play golf for a while.
On Monday, September 29, 2003 at approximately 1:00 pm (the exact time that I was scheduled to tee off in a charity golf tournament), my surgeon was implanting an ICD (internal defibrillator) in my chest. It is hard to conceive of such an amazing device, that is so small yet has the power to save a life over and over. My ICD fired four times in the first year. I remember each date because that is four more times that I would have died if not for the technology we now have. It sure does make every new day just a little bit more special for me.
In September 2004, just days after the last time that my ICD fired off, I met dozens of other survivors of Sudden Cardiac Arrest at the second Washington, D.C. conference. I was overwhelmed by their stories, along with those of the Ambassadors Christy Stone and Deputy Chief Johnston. At that time I promised myself that I would tell my story and do whatever I can to make sure that these life saving technological devices are more widely made available. I can think of no better reason than "because so many more can survive".