I just learned of this website when reading a small newsletter called BottomLine Personal. My husband Paul died of SCA on Aug 4 this year, just about one month shy of his 64th birthday. Although his death certificate says "heart attack", I now know that was not exactly the case.
We were doing one of the things we loved - traveling by RV. We had just finished our 3rd week on the road, where the last week had been in Oshkosh, WI at AirVenture 2014. My husband was not a pilot or a veteran by he loved all things airplane. We had just set up our campsite outside of Milwaukee and had planned our visit to that city for the next day. You see, we also love our Harley and no trip to Wisconsin would be complete without a visit to the Harley museum.
The day was normal in every way. We finished supper and were watching TV when the attack happened. I know now that what happened was all the classic symptoms - immediate loss of consciousness, some seconds of convulsions, some minutes of gasping for air. I was all alone in the camper and desperately dialed 9-1-1 but I was frantic and terrified. I yelled for help and other campers - strangers, mind you - came to my aid. Someone did finally start CPR but I have no idea how much time had lapsed. EMS arrived, we were transported to the hospital, but Paul never regained consciousness. After several hours, I finally let him go while one daughter back home in Massachusetts stayed on the phone with me.
My husband was a healthy cardiac patient. That seems odd to say since he had a CABG in 2005 but Paul was active, went to the gym, never smoked, saw his cardiologist regularly. He had last had a nuclear stress test in 2012 and all looked good. He had recently had a total knee replacement in January and all the pre-surgery tests were good.
The hardest part for me right now is wondering if I could have saved him. Had I been prepared or calm and started CPR immediately, would he still be with me. Not knowing about SCA or that Paul might have been at risk for it leaves me feeling let down by our physicians. And I feel shortchanged that our retired days together were so abruptly ended.
Paul left this world the way he hoped he would - doing what he loved, no suffering, no diminished capacity, full of life until his last breath. However, I would wish for just one more minute to really say goodbye. I miss him more than words can express.