Posted on 11/03/2017
David Wujczyk with rescuers Christopher Cooley and Matthew Cooley
2017 Nominees – Christopher Cooley, MD and Matthew Cooley, MD
Survivor – David Wujczyk, Farmington Hills, MI, 61 at time of event (August 3, 2017)

Location of Event – Golf course

My name is David Wujczyk. On Thursday, August 3rd at 12:20pm, I stepped on the first tee at Plum Hollow Country Club to play in the opening round of the 2017 Club Invitational golf tournament. This was to be my 25th year playing in this four-day event. Unbeknown to me, Dr. Christopher Cooley and his brother and guest for the event, Dr. Matt Cooley were set to be going out two groups behind me. This was to be their first event as Chris was a brand new member at Plum Hollow.

I was not feeling normal that morning and mentioned this to my playing partner of many years Rick Plawecki. I told him that I felt a little strange but would play through it and try to compete as best I could. On the third green I just collapsed. Like some people who have many different signs, all I felt was a little dizzy and then I passed out. Rick and the other two members shouted out for help. As luck would have it, Chris Cooley heard the calls from the first green which was 225 yards away. As Chris would say later, " He never ran so hard in his life, he thought he may have pulled a hamstring". When Chris and his brother Matt reached me I was turning blue and taking a breath about every 20 seconds. I was having a massive heart attack. The Cooley brothers took turns giving me CPR until an ambulance arrived around 15 minutes later. I was taken to Providence Hospital about four miles away where I was taken to the Cath Lab. Dr. Delano Small did an emergency procedure that included the placement of two stents.

As you can imagine, I consider myself to be blessed beyond belief. There were so many things that had to go my way that day. One was that I collapsed just 50 yards away from the maintenence area, which has an opening in the fence for the ambulance. If I had started that day on the back nine, which half of the players did, there would not have been any way for the ambulance to get to me. Two, the three other men in my group reacted quickly. Even though they did not know CPR, they didn't hesitate to try and find help. Three, and the most important was that the Cooley brothers were just 250 yards away. Chris Cooley is a 4th-year resident ER Physician at Beaumont-Botsford Hospital in Redford and his brother Matt is a Gastroenterology Fellow at Providence Hospital. Chris is a first year member at Plum Hollow.

I woke up after my procedure at Providence and was informed as to what had happened. It took me a day to realize that I was just about the luckiest man on earth. I had what is known as "The Widow Maker." In a semi remote area without any warning whatsoever. I'm sure that the odds of me surviving this event are somewhere close to winning the Power Ball lottery. After a week or so, my story was getting around pretty good. The news networks called and asked for an interview. Being kind of a private person I at first turned them down. My wife convinced me to do the interviews as it would probably help many people understand how suddenly this can happen.  When I asked the reporter why she came to my office that day she said to me, "You don't understand. Yours is the best story I've had in a long time. You just don't hear about a happy ending like this very often."

I have since had two more stents installed. I have started my rehab program and have vowed to do everything I can to make a full recovery. I have a lot to live for. Four days after arriving home the second time, my daughter gave me my second grandson. This is all the motivation I need.

I am writing you today only because two very dedicated, fast moving and even faster thinking professionals saved my life. Dr. Christopher Cooley and Dr. Matthew Cooley were playing golf. Excited to be playing in their very first invitational. Chris actually birdied the first hole. Seconds later the call came and they did not hesitate to do everything possible to keep me alive. These are extraordinary young men who deserve your attention.

Nominated by David Wujczyk