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Medical response appreciated; remember to call 911

Posted: September 10, 2013 - 2:32pm  |  Updated: September 11, 2013 - 9:19am

On Saturday evening, Aug. 24, 6 p.m., we were preparing dinner at home with friends when life took a turn that no one expected. My husband, Mike, said he was not feeling well. He was sweating profusely, pale, and short of breath. Grabbing his chest, he said he was having a heart attack.

We always think we will know what to do in an emergency situation like this, but calling 911 never crossed my mind. My only thought was getting him to the hospital as quickly as possible. We immediately got into the car and started driving, not anticipating the amount of traffic we would endure, or the fact that he could arrest at any given moment. As we approached town, his symptoms went from bad to worse, and I realized calling 911 at that point was vital. Thankfully Central Emergency Services met us within minutes and treated Mike for a heart attack as they transported him to Central Peninsula Hospital.

Upon arriving to the Emergency Room, visibly shaken and clearly confused, the staff at ER gently guided me every step of the way. When they had him stable, staff escorted me to my husband. I found him cognitive. Within seconds total chaos broke out and I was taken out and big machines moved in. He had arrested. At that moment my life had never felt darker. The next few minutes became a crowd of caring, compassionate and praying people. Leslie, the captain of the paramedic team, became my lifeline, literally telling me how to breathe, when and what the next step would be, and never leaving my side.

Mike was revived! Life Med Alaska who was very supportive and encouraging, explained every detail to me as they prepared him for the Medevac to Providence Medical Center. There, he successfully received a stent, recovered a few days, then was sent home.

The reason for this letter is twofold: to encourage anyone having symptoms of a heart attack or witnessing symptoms to not delay and call 911, the true professionals. And also to give thanks.

There were many compassionate people along this journey — while I don’t remember all the names, or even all of the evening, what I do remember is their presence. These amazing people heeding to a call to make a difference in our community.

Thank You: Central Emergency Services: Leslie, Isaac, and Joel. Life Med Alaska: Peggy and Brian. The entire ER staff at Central Peninsula Hospital (you know who you are), Providence Medical Center CCU unit and Cardiologist Dr. Kramer.

To my friends and family: thank you for all of your prayers, support and help, I am forever grateful.

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