(Y member shares his story from 2012 – one that’s well worth repeating).
Just ask me? That’s exactly what happened to me on February 8, 2012.
I was quietly doing my stretching while doing my thrice weekly exercises at the local YMCA. I was 70 years old and wanted my life to go on a little longer. I wanted to dance at my grandchildren’s wedding. Then, while stretching on the mats at the YMCA, it happened in an instant (which I don’t even remember). I had a Sudden Cardiac Arrest. BOOM; I was dead, flat-lined, no heart beat at all, “deader than a door nail.”
In researching it online, I found out that 92% of the people who have Sudden Cardiac Arrests perish from them. The survival rate is only 8%. At the hospital, they called me, the “Miracle Man.”
Someone called 911 while another immediately went to work with the Defibrillator to get my heart beating again. It worked, but I was in a coma for the next four weeks. The ambulance took me to Lansdale’s Abington Medical Center where they put me into a state of frozen animation. Then they helicoptered me to Abington Memorial Hospital. Toward the end of four weeks, the doctors told my wife Lynn that they would have to start considering taking me off life support. Thankfully, Lynn said, “No, he’s in there, I know it.”
Eventually I woke up and then started my rehabilitation. And after eight weeks, they sent me back to Lansdale’s Abington Medical Center for two more weeks of rehabilitation. When I was finally discharged, they told me to go home and walk for continued rehabilitation.
So, on a beautiful sunny Good Friday, April 6, I tried my first attempt to walk around the block of our home. Then, BOOM, I fell flat on my face. Since I was on blood thinners, there was blood everywhere. My next door neighbors saw that I was unconscious and called 911 again. Then it was right back to Abington Memorial Hospital and back to Lansdale’s Abington Medical Center. The hospitals did not want to see me come back and I didn’t want to come back, so after much pleading with them, they finally let me come home.
Thank the Lord for all the visitors, cards and letters and phone calls I had. They really kept me encouraged. Lynn was my Guardian Angel, visiting every day; and when I was finally able to take liquids, she brought me my favorite McDonald’s milkshake every night. My son in NJ also visited almost every day, and with his knowledge of the medical language was able to intervene on my behalf and translate their terminology into ordinary English. My other son frequently visited from the Boston area, and during those visits we had the most meaningful conversations we’ve ever had. And there were many members of Church of the Messiah who visited and helped lift my spirits. And I would be remiss if I did not give credit to the Registered Nurses at the Abington Cardiac Rehab Center. They were WONDERFUL. My thanks to all.
One of my Christian friends asked if I saw a bright light? When I said “No,” she asked if I saw flames? My reply to her was “No, thank God.”
I’ll always be on medication and rehabilitation in order to prevent another Sudden Cardiac Arrest. But, thanks to all my friends and relatives and their prayers, I’m on this side of the grass. Now, all I can say, like George Bailey said in It’s a Wonderful Life, “Yippee!! I’m alive!” It’s Wonderful! I love life. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. —Bob Klein