Hi my name is Mike, I am an SCA survivor.
My SCA occurred on the morning of July 12th 2004. It was a nice summer morning and I was getting ready for a camping trip later that week. I took out the household garbage and when I got to the trash cans I found they had been overturned and there was garbage everywhere in the yard. I cursed the neighbors dog and began to clean up the trash.
I felt a sudden sharp pain in my chest while bending over. As i stood up the pain got much worse. I made it back to the house and my wife asked what was wrong. I wasn't sure but it hurt. I had previous kidney stone issues and this was even worse pain. I got down on my knees and leaned on the couch. My wife called 911.
I was a volunteer on the local fire department and one of my friends, who was an EMT, heard the 911 call. He was on the ambulance with his wife, who was a paramedic. They recognized the address and made the normal 12 minute trip back to town, in half the time.
When they arrived at my house they found me crippled over in pain. A local officer was already on scene and had placed me on high flow O2. I was transferred to a stretcher and they began treatment. I was loaded into the ambulance and transported to the closest ED.
The closest facility was less than 5 minutes away, but it seemed like an eternity. The entire ride I was told by my paramedic friend that I was in good hands and she knew exactly what I was going through (she had an MI a few years ago). She explained what was going on and that the ECG was showing an STEMI. She gave me something for the pain, and moments later we arrived at the ED.
I was moved from the stretcher to what I think was a trauma table, much of the next few minutes is still a blur.
I do remember the intense pain. I do remember it stopping........I do remember the peacefulness, I do remember the bright white light, I remember everything fading to black and the voice saying "we're not ready for you yet".
When I opened my eyes there were lots of people looking at me. Someone asked me questions, I verbally responded. I said the pain is gone. Someone said your rhythm is still not normal. They let my wife in the room to see me, the pain started again. It became intense very quickly. Someone said we may have to shock him again. I said to my wife "it's okay i'll be right back".......again peaceful, but no light, again awake with people staring at me.
More of a blur from here until the chopper ride to Cooper. I do remember no more pain.
Landing on the roof of Cooper was fun, I asked them not to let go of the stretcher and let me roll over the edge. I was immediately brought into the Cath Lab. They found nothing but a 14% blockage. I spent 24 hours in CICU and two more days in the hospital. The doctors suggested an IAD but I refused, since the only reason they want me to have one was because they had no idea why my heart stopped. I had an Echo performed and there was zero damage to the heart muscle.
I was released with orders to see a cardiologist next week for a followup. When I went to see him he explained what happened. My heart had stopped for 6 minutes and with a combination of CPR and defibrillation it was restarted. The second time it stopped was explained as an electrical problem, one shock and I was back to normal rhythm. They used a thrombolytic that may have broken up a clot but that is still an unknown. I was put on a full list of medication because they didn't know why it happened.
It has been 10 years since I died....and with any luck it will be many more before the next time.