Cardiac arrest at Masters Golf Tournament

Cardiac arrest at Masters Golf Tournament

My life changing event Sudden Cardiac Arrest presented itself on April 6th, 2018. It was a gorgeous morning, dew on the ground, cool temperatures and the greatest scenery your eyes could endure. God had his hand making sure that if this was my calling that the surroundings could have not been more spectacular than to be at Amen corner at the Masters. The morning was normal at least that is what my wife and friends had told me, 6 days later when I awoke from a self enduced coma. I was told just before the sudden cardiac arrest that my words started slurring and I stumbled when I was walking. I stopped and that’s when it hit me, like someone had chopped my legs out from under me from the backside, like a tree falling to the ground. When falling all my weight must have gone into my elbow and back of head. My wife bless her soul was watching me die right in front of her. They said it looked like a seizure, I gasped in doing so my partial denture broke loose and I inhaled them into my right lung. The color of my skin was turning gray and blue. God again in his quest to have his hand on me through this event it just so happened that a bystander (which was a Gastroenterologist) was no more than 5 feet away from me. He tried to clear the spectators and start performing CPR so the blood would circulate to keep the vital organs and brain from dying. While this was going on the emergency medical tent was contacted so a vehicle could transport me to the tent for further medical attention. I commend the gastroenterologist for playing his role and that is the main reason I am able to tell this story today. The gastroenterologist stayed on top of me doing compressions, another EMT was making sure I was getting sufficient oxygen with ambu bag while I was being transferred to the medical tent. I was told that for 20-25 minutes I was not alive. The medical tent did it’s protocol once I arrived and used an AED to shock my heart back into sinus rhythm. Then I was transported to Augusta Health University. I was evaluated and next on the list was to go to the cath. lab. I received 3 stents that day, a surgical team had to remove my partial from my right lung and begin the pneumonia protocol due to the aspiration. They induced a coma with aids and wanted the hypothermia protocol to start immediately. I believe they dropped my body temperature to 89.6 degrees. All the doctors wanted is the heart and lungs to be the functioning parts of the body for recovery. There were times my kidneys were shutting down, they were able to administer Lasix and the kidneys started functioning properly. A balloon pump was inserted but due to the cool down I was unable to stay still so more sleeping meds were given to calm down the shivering. I awoke six days later unaware of what my body experienced, my family and friends not knowing what condition mentally and physically I would be in. They say when you experience SCA that the body goes into a reset mode and I would have to say they are 100% correct. The mind and body rebuild will stare you down in the mirror in less than a month my body weight went from 209lbs to 182lbs, today I’m put back together at 171lbs, wearing size 32” waist have not seen that since high school. The cardiac rehab is the greatest tool to make you feel like your gonna make it back into society again. I never thought I would be applying for a handicapped sticker because I was not in any condition to walk long distances and your best friend is your walker (there was definitely separation anxiety when my daughter took it away from me). My journey to normalcy was just starting since the cardiac arrest, I have 5 stents, an ablation, and just over 4 weeks ago a pacemaker was put in. Today I function fairly well, some exhaustion at work on the longer than normal days. My cardiologist has put me on 50mg. of Metoperlol extended release, 5 mg of ramapril, 81 mg of aspirin and 10 mg of prasegrel (blood thinner). Daily workouts which help you feel better but also helps you mentally. Although this experience has been difficult at times all in all it has me appreciating the temple for which we live in (our own bodies). We need to take care of our temple both mentally, physically and appreciate the big guy in the heavens for the life on earth that we live. I did experience the outer body experience and it was an eye opener. If anyone needs a lift in the life after cardiac arrest please feel free to contact me. There can be a normal life after cardiac arrest but you have to look it square in the face to overcome the obstacles. May our hearts beat together as one. Have a great day and thank god for AED’s.

SCAFoundation's picture
SCAFoundation wrote 36 weeks 4 days ago

What a beautiful story!

Thank you so much for sharing your experience. We are happy to know you are doing well. Your message is so inspirational. We wish you all the best as you continue this new chapter of your life.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation

StillHere's picture
StillHere wrote 36 weeks 4 days ago

Thank you

Thank you for the reminder and encouragement

JUMPJR1952's picture
JUMPJR1952 wrote 27 weeks 5 days ago

Cardiac Arrest and the comeback

I’m a cardiac arrest survivor. I’m very fortunate to be in the shoes that I am today because of the support from the man upstairs, my wife, mother, daughter and all the family, friends and co-workers that prayed for me in the times of the unknown. Cardiac arrest to the victim at the time of arrest has no worries he’s being medicated and is in a world of his own. The man upstairs is the governing factor by placing angels in all places so that the outcome in my case was perfect. The effects of cardiac arrest can be really stressful on the family because of the many unknowns to the outcome. First of all what damage was done to the heart muscle, I was put in a medicated coma for 6 days in that time frame brain activity was unknown. My kidneys at one point in time we’re starting to fail. All in all I was a mess. The strain goes deeper than anyone can imagine but the victim such as in my case it’s like taking a trip to the place in the sky if you believe that place exists. I became a part of that place when I had no heartbeat. The medical technicians said I was with no heartbeat for 25 minutes. I’m at the tender age of 53 when I had my attack. Since then I have had 5 surgeries which consisted of 5 stents, an ablation, and a pacemaker. After 4 months I returned to work part-time along with a 36 weeks of cardiac rehab. I’ve lost 40 lbs, I’m exercising at 20 minutes a day of cardio exercises, my diet has changed dramatically. Energy levels vary from day to day. It takes a while to recover but with willpower, faith and a great support team your life can be better after cardiac arrest. Reason I say this is because if you live the right life, death becomes a part of life that doesn’t scare you. When you thank things are bad they are just hurdles in life the you have to jump over not dead ends. Keep the heart strong and healthy so that you can live a life that’s heartfelt. Let us all beat as one on a pathway of goodness. Keep on pumping.

John M. Pruitt, Jr.

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The mission of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) Foundation is to prevent death and disability from sudden cardiac arrest. The vision of the SCA Foundation is to increase awareness about sudden cardiac arrest and influence attitudinal and behavioral changes that will reduce mortality and morbidity from SCA.

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