Paul's early morning shift as patrol officer started like most normal days, but soon spiraled into what would be a horrific event. He drove the canyon road with his narcotic K-9, Kobo, who was unusually whimpering and distraught in his kennel, as if trying to warn Paul of the looming threat. Shortly thereafter Paul started to experience common symptoms spoken of in basic life support classes such as: "shortness of breath, panic, pressure or tightness in the chest, a fire poker thru the heart, and radiating pain down the right arm."
At 39 years old Paul knew he was having a heart attack and had very time to get help. He proceed to drive to the closest hospital in Park City, UT, calling his sergeant via his cell phone to inform him he was having a heart attack. Paul knew he couldn't wait for help, he was the emergency response system! Within a few short minutes Paul arrived at the Trauma bay doors of the emergency room. He ripped off his bullet proof vest, secured his weapon, and his dog and proceeded to the sliding glass doors. No one was there! Paul's mental state was starting to deteriorate and he could no longer remember the code to get him into the emergency room. He began to panic as his vision started to narrow. He started pounding with both fists on the glass doors. He started to fall to his knees, finding it harder to breath, and more challenging to see. A women exited an exam room and saw him fall. The doors were quickly opened and Paul lept to his feet with a surge of hope. He was immediately cared for by doctors and nurses who identified his heart attack and called for a life flight team to transport him to a higher level of care facility.
Paul was flown to Salt Lake City, UT and taken into emergency surgery and found to have 100% occlusion to the artery of his heart termed the "widow maker." The surgeons placed a stent to reopen Paul's artery and return oxygen supply to his heart. During this time the critical care doctors had difficulty maintaining Paul's oxygen and blood pressures. He was cared for in the critical care unit for several days and eventually discharged home to recover.
At this time Paul is still on a long road to recovery and trying to fight for more strength with a diagnosis of congestive heart failure. He is loved by his wife and 3 young children.
He has served the law enforcement community for over 17 years. He will not be able to return to his love and passion as a police officer. He is 3 years shy of retirement with medical bills miles high and a young family to care for. Any contributions to assist in his journey would be appreciated!
- Katelyn Moorehead
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