Posted on 11/30/2019

Survivor: JV Lattimore

Date of Event:

Location of Event: Home

Sarah Lattimore

It was the Friday before the kids got out of school for Thanksgiving break and I’d decided that since it was Friday, I wasn’t going to make the 20-plus minute trek to my office to work alone in an office that we’d been working towards closing for the previous couple months -- I’d just work from home. That simple, seemingly unimportant decision changed my life and the lives of those around me the most of any decision I’ve ever made. That morning, I took my son the few blocks to school as usual and returned home. I stacked the pillows up on the bed and was sitting there with my wife, Sarah. I’m not sure if I’d opened my laptop quite yet or not, but I lost consciousness, slumped over and made some weird gurgling/gasping sounds. My heart had gone into some kind of fibrillation and stopped beating -- I was 43 years old, just had a sudden cardiac arrest, had no pulse and was dead. I can only tell the story second hand as the SCA wiped out any memory of the event itself (as well as a few others from that timeframe), but Sarah saw it all happen and knew something was wrong. She saw I was unresponsive and called 911. Since she did not know CPR, the dispatcher talked her through it and she performed CPR for 8-plus minutes until the EMTs arrived. At that point, they shocked me with their AED and took over. The next weeks were spent in the hospital, with me in a medically induced coma, followed by an ICU stay for a while, then a defibrillator implant. The months following were filled with cardiac rehab and trying to mentally reset after 'being dead for a little while' -- that’s what we jokingly say now. Now that it’s been about a year and a half, I’ve made a full recovery, am back to normal and finally at a place where I can openly talk about that chapter. But, I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for Sarah’s quick action. She literally saved my life with her bare hands. Every day since then is a miracle and a gift and I owe each and every one to her.