Save Date: 4/2/2004
Activity: At home
On April 2, 2004, I was part of a local theater production. I remember parts of the play that night but not all of it. I remember the play ending and taking a curtain call and then talking to a co-worker and her daughter who had been in the audience. That is the last I remember for the next 18-24 hours. I talked with some other audience members and then started out the door for the car to drive home. At that time, I told my wife that my chest hurt. I drove the six blocks home and the pain continued. e went in the house and talked about calling the ambulance or just driving to the hospital. We were 22 miles from the hospital and I said the pain would probably be gone by that time. My wife, Susie, a nurse, could tell something was not right so she called the ambulance. I told her not to call, but she wanted some equipment to check me. Just as she hung up the phone, I turned red and stiffened. Susie determined I was not breathing and rolled me from the couch onto the floor. With the help of our daughter, she pulled me onto my back and found I had no pulse. Susie then began CPR and Amy called 9-1-1 for the First Responders who arrived just two to three minutes later. They hooked me up to the AED, which allowed them to start giving shocks. The ambulance crew arrived approximately 20 minutes later and the paramedic began giving the cardiac drugs while the First Responders were still delivering shocks from the AED. My pulse would return and then it would go away. After approximately 30 minutes of rescue efforts, including 22 shocks, my pulse returned to stay. I was loaded into the ambulance and taken to the Lucas County Health Center in Chariton. En route to the hospital, I became combative but was not alert and responsive. At the hospital after the doctor pulled out my combi-tube, I was able to talk with everyone around me, although I do not remember anything at the hospital or in the helicopter flight to Mercy Hospital Medical Center in Des Moines. I do not remember much about the following day but I can remember from the second day on. I was hospitalized in Des Moines for eight days. They put in a stent between the two stents I had received a year earlier and implanted an ICD. I returned to work on May 20 and am able to do almost everything I could before the sudden cardiac arrest, including going on First Responder calls.