Shufelt64
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Shufelt64, August 3,  2018  2:01am EST

Back from the Brink

Almost a year ago  Aug 9th 2017. I had a heart attack that put me into cardiac arrest when I  Arrived at the hospital. I was put on a lucas mechanical CPR device, shocked 7 times and different medicines.But  it wasn't bringing my pulse back.After 10 mins and things weren't going well. The ED doctor  Dr.Terry  who was working on me started advocating  to the heart dr  to possibly use  ECMO (Extracoperail Membrane Oxygenation) which is  a bypass pump that is connected to the femoral artery and vein in the groin.He felt it could return blood flow to my brain and vital organs while the  cause of my cardiac arrest could be fixed. He also knew Ecmo was being used for cardiac arrest at other hospitals. The heart dr helping didn't know alot about ECMO. So he called  a couple other heart drs that worked with ECMO. By the time the other two heart dr got there it had been over 20 mins with no pulse. The heart drs talked survival odds and possibility of brain  damage. DR  Terry advocated once again, telling them I was 53 and went into cardiac arrest in front of him, and would be a perfect patient to be the first at their hospital.The heart dr agreed to take me to the cath lab and check my arteries and put me on Ecmo.BY the time I was put on ecmo I had no pulse for 50 mins. Once on Ecmo They were able to open up  the 100% blockage I had in my left coronary artery and a stent put in. I briefly woke up while still in the cath lab. The drs asked me to stick out my tongue and give them a thumbs up, so I did. That was a good sign that I could understand and follow commands. I was put in to a deep sleep for a couple days so my heart could rest. I was on ECMO for 5 days. Giving my heart a rest helped tremendously. It went from barely able to pump to pumping like a average heart. I was brought back from the brink of death. I went  home six days later. I feel very blessed that I got a second chance at still being alive. I every  morning I Thank God and all the drs and nurses that took care of me. I still have a hard time believing that all happened to me. I am now 50 pounds lighter, eating health , exercising  and taking my meds.I am trying to do everything I can to prevent another heart attack. I still get emotional when I  think about it.  I  am not always sure how to process my feelings. Some are happy and some are sad. One thought that helps me do all I can to prevent another heart atttack is   What would my family  have done if I hadn't  survived? I don't want them to live without me for a long time. I try to live one day at a time and not worry or stress to much, but its tough some days. Thanks for being able to tell my story and read others stories. Getting support and giving support can make a big difference in many lives.

                       Thanks Dave

 

 

5 Replies
  • AHAASAKatie
    AHAASAKatie, August 6,  2018  9:12am EST
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    Good morning Dave! Welcome to the Support Network and thank you for sharing your story with us! You are so close to your 1-year anniversary, let me be the first on the site to say, congratulations! Please know that you are not alone and many of our members have expressed much of the same concerns as you regarding anxiety and emotions post heart attack or incident. I want to share the information that we have regarding life post-heart attack with you.  Please know that we are here for you, each day through recovery.  I look forward to getting to know you better in the months to come. Best Katie 

  • Shufelt64
    Shufelt64, August 9,  2018  2:11am EST

    Thanks katie

    One thing I wish the support site had was auto save if you loose internet conection or accidentally  exit out of site lol. Two times I started typing a post and lost it after several sentences. Oh well hopefully third time is yhe charm and finish it. Today is the one year anniversary of my heart attack and cardiac arrest. A couple months a go I had a idea about how great it would be to celebrate with people that helped make it possible for me to still be alive.So I reached out to Mercy hospitals public relation office. Left my name and number with the secretary and alittle about my idea. I tried this a couple time without results.So a few weeks ago I email a local AHA staff and mentioned to her what I was trying to plan. She told me if I wasn't able to set something up with the hospital. She would take me out to lunch  to help celebrate.She  told me that the PR  at the hospital had been in the middle of a hospital expansion project .She also mentioned she had a up coming meeting  with a PR staff member and would give the a little note about my idea. A few days later the director of the nursing staff for ecmo at the hospital called and left a message a that PR  contacted her about my idea to celebrate with the staff. She  loved the idea and let her know what date I'd  like to set it up. So I call her back and told i would like to if possible set it up on the 9th. She said she would see about setting up a time and notify staff. She had the list of staff that were part of my care..I get a call back the next day with a message that it was set up for the 9th at 11 to 12:30  in the east tower of hospital in conference room 4. All I have to do is meet her in the lobby of the east tower at 10:55  and then we would head into the conference room. I am honored that the hospital set this up for me. I am excited ,nervous and emotional all at once.The medical staff has been great support for me since  my heart attack. Besides being great on a professional level they have been  very supportive  and caring on a personal level.Thanks to all medical staff everywhere for all they do..Sorry this is so long. Final note the AHA staff member was invited to the celebration.

    Thanks Dave

     

     

  • AHAASAKatie
    AHAASAKatie, August 9,  2018  9:02am EST

    This is amazing! We would love for you to post a few pictures from the celebration on the Support Network if that is possible. Thank you for sharing your celebration and special day with us! Best Katie 

  • Shufelt64
    Shufelt64, August 12,  2018  3:30pm EST
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    The one year anniversary celebration was terrific! I finally got the chance to meet and personally thank the cath lab team that helped save my life.Also a few of the Ecmo nurses were there. It was great to see Dr. Terry Without him suggesting and pushing to get me put on ecmo, I wouldn't still be alive.Even had some upper administrators of the hospital and Iowa heart,stop by to meet me.They had a photographer taking pictures.Once I get them I'll post some.It was a great day and thank all that made it possible.
  • AHAASAKatie
    AHAASAKatie, August 13,  2018  9:08am EST

    This is fabulous! Thank you for sharing! Best Katie 

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