"How do you say 'Thank you' to those who have just saved your life?" These are the words of Lewis Stokes (Lew) of Garden Grove, California.
On December 5, 2008, Lew and his wife, Annette, and their close friends were getting ready to depart from Honolulu International Airport after a wonderful vacation of sun, fun, and playing in paradise.
After completing check-in with American Airlines and making their way to the departure gate, Lew did not feel well, he sat down and the next thing he remembers is a good looking young man leaning over him saying "everything is going to be OK". Lew had experienced a Sudden Cardiac Arrest, SCA. Fortunately for Lew, he had been in a public location where his SCA was witnessed, there were bystanders close-by that called the emergency response number for the airport, and by-standers started CPR.
Within minutes of Lew's cardiac arrest, Andrew Chong, an AMR airport paramedic arrived at his side, attached the public access AED and within 2 shocks, Lew was awake and asking what happened. Mr. Stokes was immediately transferred to Kaiser Hospital of Honolulu where he underwent evaluation and insertion of an Internal Cardiac Defibrillator, ICD. Lew did not have a heart attack, he experienced a sudden cardiac arrest without any warning.
Lew ended up making a full recovery and continued to thank all of his rescuers and healthcare professionals for the wonderful care and treatment he received. Mr. Stokes had a history of heart problems - prior to his cardiac arrest he has had 4 heart attacks, 6 coronary stents, and a pacemaker - but let us tell you, Lew was a very strong and determined man. Stokes received an ICD and conitnued to power through life with contagious energy. Lewis Stokes was well aware that his work on this earth was not done. His newest goal in life was to educate others in the community about the importance of knowing CPR and how AEDs can save your life ... He knew a public access AED saved him and gave him another chance to be nice to his wife!