I am deviating from my usual Sunday post to do an update on my husband, Dan. He is scheduled for an angioplasty and stent on Monday after suffering a heart attack this past Tuesday. He has 3 blocked arteries, 2 of which will be corrected. The 3rd is an artery on the right side of the heart that is not in the usual place, is 100% blocked, and is unable to be corrected. The consensus is that the damage has already been done from that artery and other arteries have taken up the slack, so they are not worried about correcting it. What I wanted to share today is the miracles that occurred this past week. I briefly mentioned these when I posted on Thursday.
First, the timing of the attack...on Monday, Dan had been at a beach cottage with a friend, 2 hours away from the nearest medical facility. If it had occurred then, things would have been vastly different.
Second, when he told me of the chest pain, I had only been home from errands for 2 hours. At first, he only mentioned chest pain, he thought from the bean burrito he had eaten for lunch. It was only when he said the pain had gone down his arm that I became alarmed and we started for the doctor's office. I wanted to take him to the hospital, but he thought the doctor could take care of whatever it was. I got him in the car and we started out - the doctor's office is across the street from the hospital, so we were headed in the general direction.
Here is where what I am calling miracles starts. I was being caught by a stoplight when I looked over at my husband and realized he was sweating profusely, even though it was quite cool in the car. I glanced around to see if I could get around traffic, and noticed a police car stopped next to me. (How many times have you asked the question, "Where are the police when we need them!?) I honked my horn and motioned for him to lower his window. He did, and I asked him to help me get to the hospital. He asked why and I told him I thought my husband was having a heart attack. He directed me to pull over so he could call an ambulance for me instead. I was able to cut across traffic stopped at the light and pull into a parking lot. He immediately followed, blue lights flashing. His car was followed in very short order by 4 more police vehicles, all with blue lights flashing. (Strange thoughts running through my head at that time...I thought - wow! I look like a really, really bad criminal - needing 5 cars to apprehend me!) Meanwhile, I stopped the car, got around to the passenger side and had the door opened for the officer to see Dan. The officer asked him to tell him his name, which he did, and asked him how long he had been having the pain. Imagine my chagrin when he said "since about noon" - since it was now 5 PM!
Just as the chaplain walked up, I looked out and saw the ambulance arriving - literally 2 minutes from the time I had pulled over! The paramedics came and took over from there. They did whatever it is that they do in the ambulance - hooked him up to EKG, started an IV, administered medicines, and then took off for the hospital.
I followed (at a safe distance, not speeding, as instructed by the officers!) and arrived at the hospital shortly after they had taken him back. When I arrived in the room, they were viewing his EKG and making arrangements to draw blood. The ER Doctor came in and said it looked like he just had some irregular heartbeat going on, and they were going to do a chest X-Ray and do the blood work, probably keep him overnight for observation. Lab techs came in and drew blood, then he was taken to X-Ray.
He was brought back to the room and situated on the bed. Everyone left the room, leaving me alone with him. He was talking to me about the pain in his arm, when he suddenly grabbed his chest and started to convulse. He fell back, I screamed for help, and everything began to happen in hyper-speed. I was rushed out of the room, and they began to work on him. I could hear them calling his name, trying to get a response, with no luck. Someone (he says a guy with arms the size of tree trunks was jumping on his chest) started CPR, and they got him hooked to the paddles. I heard the monitor emit the sound we have all heard on TV hundreds of times - the sound of a flat line - and heard them say "clear", and administer the shock. The monitor still had the same sound - flat line - and I was unable to breathe. I heard them say "clear" again, administer the shock, and thanks be to God, I heard a heartbeat! A nurse stepped out of the room and gave me a thumbs up sign.
Shortly afterward, he had a cardiac catheter done, they found the blocked arteries, and on Monday, will have the surgery. He was sitting up in a chair when I left him this afternoon (Saturday) and looking almost normal!
On Thursday, 2 of the paramedics who had been with him came to visit him in the ICU. One told us why they had been able to get to us so quickly - they were headed toward me when they heard the call on the police scanner and responded before their dispatcher could even get the call out! They were less than a mile away at the time.
We have had many visits from friends and family, and have shared our story with all of them. Obviously God is not through with Dan yet - and though he is not completely out of the woods yet - we still have to get through the angioplasty and stents on Monday - I felt compelled to share the goodness of the God we serve. Thank you all for your continued prayers and support. I have been overwhelmed by the love and support from the blogging community. I am proud and honored to be a part of such a wonderful group of people. May God bless you richly!
I am linking to Spiritual Sundays.