Save Date: 7/14/2003
Activity: At work
I had been working out regularly for several years. That morning I finished a normal workout for me, primarily using an elliptical machine. Following the workout, as I stood at a computer in the corner of the room, I collapsed. I don't remember a thing. I was told later that the facility director Joe Vida came to my aid while another employee ran to get our nurse, Kathy. She sent Joe running for the AED and began evaluating me.
Kathy, who had been encouraging my efforts to lose weight and get my blood pressure and cholesterol under control, said I was gasping for breath. She found no pulse and attempted to give me several breaths. Again finding no pulse or regular breathing and noting that I was turning blue, she put the AED pads on me.
The AED recommended a charge, which she delivered. As she monitored me she determined that I now had a pulse and appeared to be breathing. At some point after this I swam back into awareness. I heard Kathy talking to me, asking my name, reassuring me that the ambulance was coming. I gradually became aware that I was lying on the floor of the health facility. I could see the emergency medical personnel arriving and heard Kathy tell them that she had delivered one charge with the AED and I had come back.
On the way to the hospital I became much more aware of everything and after a few minutes in the emergency room was feeling really good. I was ready to go home. Because of what had occurred they ran further tests on me and decided I needed bypass surgery because of several blocked arteries. A few days later an ICD was implanted in my chest. The doctors said that my body had probably been compensating for the lower blood flow to the heart for some time but that morning's workout just pushed me over the limit and led to a sudden cardiac arrest. I never experienced chest pain or dizziness or anything at all really before I collapsed.
Kathy estimates that she placed the AED pads on me within about 90 seconds of my collapse. Having seen the AEDs demonstrated in classes at our facility I am overwhelmed by their ability to get a heart started again. I now join Kathy in conducting periodic information classes for Gannett employees to familiarize them with the AED.