On the night of June 16, 2013, Julie and I had dinner and watched our Sunday night shows, and I was tired and having shoulder pain (I had a prior shoulder injury that I thought was acting up so this didn't
alarm me), so I went to bed. I could not fall asleep, even after Jules came to bed. (I do not remember anything after going to bed until waking up a week and half later). Sometime in the wee hours of June 17, Jules asked me if I wanted her to take me the ER, maybe they could give me a cortisone shot and get me on my way to feeling better. I finally agreed and we got dressed and were on our way. When we got to the ER I did not want to go in because the pain had gone away "“ Jules convinced me to wait a few minutes to be sure. Less than five minutes later the pain was back and we were heading in to Providence Park ER. Once inside we were taken right in to the triage room to be checked in. The triage nurse was entering information in the computer and asked for my id - I pulled it out to hand to her and collapsed. The triage nurse called for help, they got me on to a gurney, and immediately began CPR. My heart had stopped beating - the doctors and nurses worked to restart my heart. After twenty minutes they were finally able to get a pulse and rushed me into the cath lab.
The cardiologist then performed an angioplasty and implanted a stent in the artery with acute blockage. They also found out that another one of my arteries was 100% blocked. While I was in the cath lab my heart stopped again for another ten minutes. During the whole battle with my heart, I coded twice for a total of 30 minutes, but thanks to the relentless efforts of the doctors and nurses at Providence Park, they were able to get me stabilized and did not give up on me. After my stent was in place and the doctors and nurses were able to stabilize me, they secured a spot for me in the cardiac intensive care unit at Henry Ford Main Campus in Detroit. They were not sure if I would need a heart transplant or open heart surgery or what I would need, and the cardiologists at Providence thought Henry Ford was the right place to go. They wanted to transport me by helicopter, but I was on too many medications and machines, and instead was transported by ambulance. During my time in the ICU at Henry Ford the doctors and nurses were working hard to make sure my heart was getting better. I had a balloon pump in my heart for a few days and was on a ventilator and feeding tubes. Because of my heart attack, I had also suffered a severe acute kidney injury and had to be put on dialysis to give my kidneys a break and repair themselves.
A week later, I began to regain consciousness to realize that my mom, brother, and dad had all flown in from Washington State to be there with me. I kept winning little battles every day and after my dialysis was done, they took me off of the ventilator. I was very grateful as that meant I didn't have to have my arms restrained anymore (I kept trying to pull my tube out). Things were looking up and I was transferred to a cardiac step down unit on the same floor. On the Fourth of July, I was released from the hospital and it couldn't have been for fitting "“ I felt like I was gaining a second chance at life on Independence Day. It was awesome to come home and be with Julie and the cats, and just be here. I cannot begin to give justice to the feelings of gratitude I have for all of the doctors, nurses, paramedics, my beautiful wife, amazing family members and friends, and anyone else who sent a thought or prayer during these past few months! I am forever grateful. I am now in week 6 of cardiac rehab, for which I go to the cardiac center at the hospital and work out three times a week while wearing a heart monitor and getting my blood pressure checked. I am also looking to start aqua aerobics two times a week beginning next week. I am monitoring everything I eat to keep track of sodium, fluids, calories, and fat, and have lost about 22 pounds since before my heart attack, and am working hard to continue losing my excess pounds. So far test results from my cardiologist and doctors are looking good and I seem to be heading in the right direction.
Here is where the hard part comes in. I will begin by saying that I do not like asking for help "“ I tend to be extremely independent and like to believe I can do everything on my own "“ if there is anything my recent life events have shown me, it is that this is not the case. Medical bills are starting to come in, insurance does not pay for rehab past twelve weeks, and being out of work on disability for the past three months (only receiving a fraction of my pay): Even though I return to work in two weeks, these things are all beginning to take a toll and are leaving us feeling little hope of ever being able to crawl out of the debt. That is why I started this page "“ I am seeking assistance to make the next year a bit easier and to help us dig our way out of this debt as I continue down the road to recovery. We appreciate any and all donations to help us in this journey. Even if you cannot donate but would like share my story by sharing this website please do. Any and all assistance is appreciated!!!
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