The day I died.I have no memory of anything for @ 6 weeks leading up till 02/06/2014, this is my story as told to me by others. I spent the night of 02/05 at my mothers cottage in a retirement center, she was in the hospital and I was supposed to meet with her Dr the next morning, my son, Sam, and I went to see her that evening and he went home( he lives with his mother) and I went to moms house to spend the evening. I got up the next morning and called my mom and told her that I didn't feel good and was going home to lay down, I drove home, @ 1 hour on a major interstate, I apparently decided to get some groceries before going home and stopped at my regular grocery store, as I was putting my groceries in my car I had a massive heart attack, went in to cardiac arrest and died. I fell hard enough to fracture my skull. I have no idea how long I lay there, I was discovered by the bagboy, Andrew, who saw that I wasn't breathing and ran to get the pharmacist, the 2 of them did CPR on me untill the rescue squad got there, the EMT's had to shock me twice on the ground and 4 more times on the way to the hospital, fortunately this was an Advanced Life Support ambulance and crew. I got to the hospital with a weak pulse, they rushed me into the cath lab and removed the 100% blockage in my right coronary artery, I was in a coma and given hypothermic therapy for 48 hours. They found my mothers phone number in my cell phone and called her, she called me ex-wife who pulled my son out of school and rushed up the road to see me, when they got to the hospital Sam was asked if he was over 18,he was 17 at the time, they said he was so that he could see me, he also became my spokesman for medical decisions, he was told to make his final goodbye to me, he refused, telling me that he loved me and would see me when I woke up. My sisters were on the way and got there later that evening.
I was in the coma for 6 days, my memory starts with me looking up and seeing my oldest sister sitting there, I asked her "what happened?" she told me that I had a massive heart attack, the cardiac ICU nurse came in and welcomed me back, I had no idea it had been 6 days! The next morning the cardiologist came in my room and told me that I needed a pacemaker immediatley, I asked what my options were and he said that with a pacemaker and some lifestyle changes I would lead a long life or if I didn't get a pacemaker I would die where I lay, so I got the pacemaker. I spent another 2 weeks in the hospital, was released and recovered at my girlfriends house for @ 2 months. I went through cardiac rehab and was able to go back to work fulltime.
I am diagnosed with Ischemic cardiomyopathy with non sustained runs of V-Tach my EF was 8% when admitted to the hospital and has been as high as 52% but is now @35%, I have 4 stents in addition to my pacemaker. Approximately 2 years later 2 of my stents collapsed and had to be rebuilt. The last 3 years have been a struggle to regain my health and keep my job, my employer not only kept my job available for but paid me the entire 3 months I was off and kept my insurance in effect.
I am not going to say it gets better, it doesn't, I have learned how to cope with all the medications and my new reduced physical abilities, I am fortuanate that I am able to work and support my son who is now in college. My mother did pass away in Oct, 2014, I was able to have some very good conversations with her about death and my experience and I think that helped her in the end( she had advanced COPD ).
Thanks for letting me tell my story!
Paul, the pharmacist who gave me CPR was given a Heart Savers award from the American Heart Association and he and Andrew have become good friends with me!