A Second Chance, Surviving Sudden Cardiac Death,
Living on Borrowed Time.

 ​Revised Edition:
Medical science continues to make strides in the area of cardiac health. This origional is still available at Amazon.com but will be replaced soon. First Edition was published in 2008. The new edition was published 2017. Please purchase through www.Amazon.com

 By Patrick W. Emmett

Title: A Second Chance, Surviving Sudden Cardiac Deat h, Living on Borrowed Time.

Second Edition; Createspace.com ISBIN 978-0692857939

First Edition: Bascom Hill Publishing – ISBN 978-1935098034

By: Patrick W. Emmett
Genre: Health, Medical
Word Count: 58,000

Book available at: www.Amazon.com 
search Patrick W. Emmett or A Second Chance

On a cold January morning, a flight took off from  - Minneapolis with passenger Patrick Emmett on it. When the plane reached 30,000 feet Pat began to feel pressure on his chest and a pain radiating down his right arm. His hands turned numb and he became clammy. Suddenly, he collapsed and died of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Quick thinking passengers and airline personnel wrestled him out of his seat and onto the floor where they began CPR. Someone found an AED and he was shocked back into the world of the living once again.
A Second Chance, Surviving Sudden Cardiac Death is the story of Pat’s rescue and his recovery. The book, A Second Chance, Surviving Sudden Cardiac Death, is an upbeat account of Pat’s rescue and survival from sudden cardiac arrest. Nearly 400,000 people each year fall to sudden cardiac arrest, less than 5% of them survive. With the deaths of so many famous people from Tim Russert to Michael Jackson, this book takes a timely in-depth look at one of the North America’s biggest killers. The book explores what happens when you go home after the sudden cardiac arrest. The subject of death and what happens when you die is explored. The book looks at stories of up to 35 other survivors and a helpful easy to use medical dictionary is included.
Patrick W. Emmett is an automotive consultant who has traveled from coast to coast for a living working with car dealers. Pat speaks at automotive lectures and has published several articles in automotive trade magazines. He is a tireless public speaker on the subject of sudden cardiac arrest at community meetings and is frequently a guest speaker at heart health forums from coast to coast. He is chairman of the Heart of America Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association.

​(1st Chapter)
A Second Chance, Surviving Sudden Cardiac Death

My Story
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain.
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool the pain,
Or help one fainting robin,
Into his nest again,
I shall not live in vain
……Emily Dickinson
My story is the story of many people.  It is a remarkable story with many, many heroes.  Someone once told me that a hero is “an ordinary person who performs an extraordinary act under outrageous conditions.”  I think all of the people on that airplane that day in January, 2006, the air traffic controllers, the Emergency Medical Transport people, the excellent staff at Abbot North Western Hospital in Minneapolis, my local Family Physician, my Cardiologist in Kansas, the Cardio Rehab unit at Shawnee Mission Medical Center, my Dietician, the other Sudden Cardiac Arrest survivors and finally my family.  They are all heroes, so this story is about heroes.
Monday, January 23, 2006
I was up early at 5:15 that morning to catch a flight.  I had a long drive to the airport, had to park my car, catch a shuttle to my gate, check my bags, and then hope I got a decent seat placement.  I always allow extra time for everything to fall into place.  This particular morning, I was in line for security scanning and had my boarding pass an hour and a half ahead of my scheduled departure.  I took a quick inventory of everything I would need for my business trip and felt pretty confident that it was going to be successful. 
I had just received a new computer bag as a gift from my wife for my business trips.  I could get not only my computer, but also my printer, my presentation materials and all of the wires and hook ups that I would need into the bag.  I could even stuff in a novel into the front of my case to entertain me on my trip.  It was terrific and it was heavy but it had wheels and I was on a “roll.” 
I cleared security at the airport and settled down to work on my computer.  Kansas City International had free Internet access, so I was able to catch up on my e-mails.  I got busy then checked my watch; it was getting dangerously close to departure time and they had not yet called the flight.  A rush of anxiety went through me and I had a connection to make in Minneapolis.  I was concerned that it might be a tight connection. 
I got in line and ask the gate agent what was going on.  He said that they had a flight delay and the plane would arrive late and they would make an announcement.  I explained that I had a connection in Minneapolis and I didn’t think that they had a lot of flights after mine to where I was going.   They checked the monitor, and sure enough the next flight out of Minneapolis would be later that afternoon.  If I flew on a later flight I would not have enough time to complete begin my study that day and might not get the job completed before I had to leave again. 
I wasn’t happy, but there was nothing I could do.  I fretted over the time and went back to my e-mails.  Airlines generally allow for a certain amount of flight delay in the connection time between flights so it seemed like things would be OK. 
I was traveling that day on a North West Airlines flight from Kansas City to Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  Once in Sioux Falls, I had a rental car waiting for me so I could drive to the great city of Mitchell, South Dakota.  Mitchell is famous for the Corn Palace, a building that the local community likes to decorate with multi-colored corn cobs into ornate depictions of people and historical events each year.  It is really quite a site.  I also had a car dealer that I was visiting to study and analyze his Parts and Service departments.  If successful in my analysis, it would lead to an additional training program for the dealership personnel.  This is a very time consuming task and I was planning to get started once I arrived. 
Annoyed, I looked at my watch again and it was already an hour after departure time and I knew that I was going to miss my flight connection.  Finally, the announcement came and we boarded the flight.  I got an excellent seat and I thought, “My luck is changing.”
I read my book all the way to Minneapolis.  When I exited my seat I was near the front of the plane, so I was able to de-plane quickly.  I headed for the bank of departure monitors on the wall.  I checked my watch and had 20 minutes before my next flight took off.  Quickly, I scanned the monitors looking for Sioux Falls, saw it and did a double take.  I had come into gate G-8.  The departure for Sioux Falls was at gate A-2.  I had to find an airport map, fast.  A-2 was way on the other side of the airport.  It was both a long walk and train ride to get there.  I got started at a rushed “two step.”   I did not run, but I did walk very fast using the “moving sidewalks” and the train to get to gate A-2.  I made it with 5 minutes to spare.  The ticket agent was there, she smiled and I handed my ticket to her.  The ticket machine just made funny noises, but did not take my ticket.  Finally she said, “Oh! This ticket is for Sioux Falls; my gate is for Sioux City.” 
My heart sank.  I knew that I had missed my connection.  She spoke up and said “I’ll call over to the other gate and let them know you are coming.”  I said “You mean I might make the flight?”  She said “Yes, but you’ll have to hurry.”  I thanked her profusely then took off in a flash.
I dodged around people, skipped the train because it had just passed going the other way and “hoofed” it in a trot clear over to the other side of the airport to gate F-6.  You see, F comes before G and if I had just turned left, instead of right, I would have been at the gate with time to spare.  As I rushed through the airport, cursing my stupidity, I was thinking “I’m not going to make it; I’m not going to make it.” 
I made it!  My ticket was scanned, I was admitted onto the plane and felt that I had held everyone up for their trip to Sioux Falls.  I was happy to note that my seat had been upgraded to First Class due to my frequent flyer status and I thought, “Well, maybe I got upset for nothing.”  I swung my 50lb+ bag into the overhead compartment took my seat and I was grateful for a glass of water offered to me by the flight attendant.  About that time one more person got onto the flight and took a seat right in front of me.  I wasn’t the last one after all. 
I laughed and told the story of my ordeal in the terminal to the person sitting next to me.  I was sweating and winded.  The flight crew secured the airplane door and we took off.  My mind drifted to my business trip, but for some reason, I just could not catch my breath.  That is pretty unusual as I walk almost daily and my recovery from exercise is pretty quick.  I tried to read my book, thinking this might settle me down a bit.  My heart rate did slow a little.  I watched the plane take on altitude and as it did, the cabin pressure began to build.  For some reason, I just did not feel good. 
As a footnote, I had been in for my physical check up with my family physician in Germantown, TN, just 7 months before.  After 22 years with a major automobile manufacturer, my wife and I decided that I should take an early retirement so we could move to Overland Park, Kansas to be near our parents and grandchildren.  I got a physical check-up, teeth cleaning and an eye exam before we made our move.  Everything checked out fine.  My doctor did say my blood sugars were a little high and my cholesterol was a little elevated but not enough for medication.  It had been over two years since my last stress test and he recommended that I get that done sometime in the upcoming year.  I didn’t think too much about that, since I had no history of heart ailment in my family.  Diabetes and cancer were the deaths of choice in my family.  My grandfather and my great grandfather lived into their 90’s and were pretty healthy.  My Mother and my Father are living and have no physical complications.  What’s to worry about?
Our plane reached 30,000 feet and we banked over what I thought was Mankato, MN; I felt a pressure in my upper body.  It wasn’t really a lot of pain, but I felt like someone was sitting on my chest.  I did feel pain in my right shoulder and my arm and fingers were starting to turn numb.  I had never before experienced the feeling of being “clammy.” It is like sweating and not being hot.  That is how I felt.  I could feel my heart beat and I was having a difficult time catching my breath.  I kept working my fingers together trying to get some blood into them.  I felt like there was a lump in my chest.   Finally, I ask the flight attendant if she could get an aspirin from a passenger and a glass of water.  She looked at me and asked if I was alright.  I said that I didn’t think so, but I could sure use the aspirin. 
I knew what was happening.  I couldn’t believe it.  I always thought I was in pretty good physical condition.  I had just moved across country, refurbished a house, started a new traveling job and had an important business trip that I had to complete.  I simply did not have time for this.  This was not happening!
The pain in my shoulder began to extend into my arm and I asked again for that aspirin.  The flight attendant asked the passenger next to me to get up.  She sat next to me and once again asked if I was OK.  I said I didn’t think so.  She said, “You don’t look very good.”  I probably said something like “I don’t feel very good.”  She asked me if we needed to do something.  I told her that I had pain in my right shoulder and it was probably a heart attack.  She said “Shouldn’t that be in your left shoulder?”  I just could not focus, I felt like someone had punched me in the chest and did not want this to be happening.  I was having a difficult time forming words and framing my thoughts between breaths.  I was thinking that I certainly did not want to inconvenience the other passengers on the plane. 
Then, everything began to go black and completely numb over my whole body.  I could literally feel the life slipping out of me. I knew that I was dying; I knew this was the end.  As I began to fall into the abyss, I could hear the flight attendant talking to me, but I could not understand what she was saying.  My last thought was, “God, look after my family, I am leaving a real mess behind.  They just cannot take care of themselves.”  And that was it; I was gone.
What happened next has been told to me by those who rescued me.
As I went down, the flight attendant Nancy Morris let out a yelp!  She called for the other flight attendant, Wendy Pickarski.  Just about that time, the passenger by the name of David Collyer in the seat in front of where I had been sitting stood up and said “I’m an EMT!”  Wendy then asked the passengers if anyone on board was a physician.  The passenger just across the isle from me stood up and said, “I’m a trained Emergency Room Nurse.”  This was Kevin.  Immediately, they all jumped into action.  Nancy went forward to inform the pilot what was going on.  Wendy and the two passengers unbuckled my seat belt and wrestled me to the floor.  They checked for a pulse, there was none.  I had lost all heart function and all brain function.  Technically, I was dead.  David and Kevin began to apply CPR.  They switched off back and forth.  The CPR did not revive me.  Wendy went in hot pursuit of the AED (Automatic External Defibrillator).  They pushed my tie aside, undid the buttons on my shirt to expose my chest.  They read the instructions on the AED and attached the leads to my chest and tummy.  Wendy and David exchanged a long glance and Wendy said, “Push the button.” David pushed the button and a shock was delivered to my heart. 
I immediately came around.  It was a single shock and my heart restarted.  Medtronic’s Corporation, an AED manufacturer, will tell you that an AED will monitor your heart rate and blood pressure.  If you do not need a shock it will not deliver one.  If the first shock does not bring you back, it will deliver another, automatically.  There is no danger of being shocked by mistake.
I did not feel a thing.  I just kind of woke up.  It was like coming out of a deep well of total blackness as the blood rushed back into my conscious state.  I saw the faces of Wendy and David immediately.  My feet were strangely immobile. 
I tried to move and to get up.  My first thought was that I had fainted.  I heard a voice from my feet and I felt hands shaking there holding my legs in place, and Kevin said, “Sir, you have to lie still, you just had a heart attack!  Nancy was standing over him. 
There they were, like four angels hovering over me.  Now, Mrs. Emmett’s kid can be pretty smart sometimes; it immediately sunk in.  A flood of things hit my brain all at once, some of which I will cover later in this book.  One of the first was that I was alive and very much in trouble.  I struggled for air.  I could not get enough oxygen.  They had a portable oxygen tank next to me and I was gasping for each breath. 
Kevin, David, Wendy and Nancy each ask me questions of one kind or another.  In turn, I would ask what my heart rate and my blood pressure were.  I was pretty lucid, even if I couldn’t breathe.  My chest hurt now and my lungs burned.  They informed me that the pilot, ironically named Peter Paul (a pair of saints, no less), had turned the plane around and was heading back to Minneapolis.  I was thinking at the time, “That’s good, I thought!  I didn’t know how I would get home from Mankato or Sioux Falls.”  Somehow, I made the connection that they might try an emergency landing at one of the local airports.  I think Nancy told me later that they had considered landing in Mankato, but Minneapolis said they could have an emergency team at the plane upon landing. 
It was kind of a bouncy ride on the floor.  My chest hurt and I just couldn’t breathe.  I remember thinking at the time, “If I could just close my eyes, and go back to sleep, everything would be so peaceful.”  As I lay there on my back, not knowing if I would make it for the landing, I knew that I would be alright if I could just go back to where I had been a little while ago and things would be fine.  David, Wendy, Kevin and Nancy kept coaching me to stay with them, to not go to sleep.  They kept talking to me asking me questions.  I finally got my aspirin.  They kept me alive, on this side, with their encouragement.  They ask questions about my family and told me about theirs.  They held my hand and they were right there on the floor with me while we landed.  I kept asking about my heart rate and blood pressure like I understood what they were telling me.  Frankly, the numbers did not make sense, they just seemed high.  My heart was racing to try to pump oxygen into my lungs, but it wasn’t working. 
The pilot radioed the Minneapolis airport and the air traffic controllers cleared the runway for an emergency landing.  The pilot came in very fast.  The moment the plane stopped, the doors were opened and an airport security guy came on board to make sure I was really in a critical state.  After he confirmed my condition, Emergency Medical Technicians arrived on the scene.  They took my vitals, put their oxygen mask on me, attached their monitors to me then shifted me onto a hard board and lifted me off the floor.
As I was being taken off the plane, the passengers erupted into cheers and applause!  I felt like I had just scored a goal for the “Gipper.”  It had not occurred to me that the passengers were all in there rooting for me to make it.  I could only think of the inconvenience that I had put them through.  I found out much later that one of the passengers was the son of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest Survivor in Minnesota.  He called his dad while I was being lifted off and told him the story and that he had found another survivor for his Support Group.  Nancy later told me that everyone was happy and cheerful about the save.  She said that the ground crew then delayed their departure for over an hour while they searched for a replacement AED and Oxygen bottle.
I held the hands of each of my angels.  There wasn’t a dry eye in the house, as they say.  I thanked them and told them I wanted to know who they were.  They each said they would let me know.
The elevator ride down on the outside of the plane was a frigid experience.  It was cold and windy, with light snow.  My bare chest was exposed to the elements and I was still gasping for precious air.  Somewhere in the back of my mind, I thought the cold would be good for me, perhaps even slow my heart rate down.  I thought about the people who break through ice and their hearts stop and how they come back to life after being warmed up.  I wasn’t out there that long but a lot of things can go through a person’s mind when they are being loaded into an ambulance. 
The ambulance had three Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT’s), who I fondly think of as “The Three Amigos.”  These guys were fantastic.  They hooked me up to their monitoring equipment, sprayed “nitro” under my tongue and ask a lot of questions.  They kept encouraging me to stay with them.  I attempted to arrest two more times on the way to the hospital.  The EMT’s were working with me to keep me lucid and with them.  I felt like my chest was going to explode, I was suffocating and could not get enough air in my lungs.  The EMT’s ask where my billfold was; I actually arched my back and extracted it for them.  They wanted to know who I was and who should be contacted.  They ask which hospital I wanted to go to.  I said I did not know, as I did not live there.  They suggested Abbott Northwestern in Minneapolis.  In the meantime, they were providing a constant feed of information to the hospital on my vitals.  They sprayed nitro under my tongue two more times before we made it to the hospital.
At one point they, asked if I was the Patrick Emmett on Findley Way in Apple Valley, MN, or the Patrick Emmett at West 116th Street in Overland Park, KS, or the one in Plano, TX or the one in Wixom, MI or the one in Germantown, TN, I said, “Stop!  I’m all those guys, I moved a lot with my recent employer” They laughed and so did I as best I could.  I said, “That is sure some incredible software you have there, can you tell me what my tax refund is going to be next year?”  That information went back over 25 years of medical history.  I confirmed my current address with them and they said they had everything they needed.  I wasn’t sure what that meant, but I was worried about a lengthy check-in procedure at the hospital and how I was going to settle up with the ambulance company.  Was it like a cab ride?  Did they need payment now?  I had a lot of questions about what was happening and if I would even survive to file an insurance claim anyway.
We arrived at the hospital and I was wheeled out of the ambulance and into the emergency room.  You know, when you watch medical shows, and see them crash through the swinging doors for dramatic effect everything looks so spectacular.  It is even more spectacular from the gurney perspective.  The lights passing over your head, the doors coming open, new faces peering down at you and people talking about you, all the time, while you are lying there; it is a surreal experience. 
It seemed like moments and I was in the Emergency Room with the Emergency Room Doctor, and his staff.  Everyone seemed to care a lot, and they were all encouraging me to hang in there.  They told me that they were going to make me alright.  It sounded like a good story, but I had my doubts at this point.  I’m thinking that I have got some pretty serious heart problems going on and the best case scenario was that they were going to “crack open” my chest and work on my heart.  I did not have high hopes for my survival.  It was just about this moment in my thinking process that I attempted to arrest again.  The heart monitor did not sound good, with its constant “beeeep” sound.   I recovered from that round and there was a nurse named Linda, who smiled at me and told me I was going to make it.  She asks what my wife’s phone number was.  I said “I, uh, I don’t know but my cell phone is in my pocket.”  I was entangled in wires, hose and life support but I managed to fish the cell phone out of my pocket and hand it to her.  I told her to open it and go to Contacts, find Marilyn then hit send.  She called my wife and was outstanding.  I did not know how she would do it without causing a complete panic at home, but she did. 
Marilyn and I have been married for 34 years.  We are corporate campaigners.  We have moved 14 times in the years we have been together.  We have been through a lot together but nothing like this.  I knew that she would take it hard.  Marilyn was shopping at a Hobby Lobby by herself that morning and answered her cell phone in the store.  Linda spoke to her on the phone, introduced herself, and explained that I had experienced a heart attack, she said that I was in the emergency room and at this point I was OK, that they were going to work on me.  She told her to not rush to Minnesota yet, wait until she heard from her and she would keep in touch as things progressed.  Their conversation was calm and settling.  Linda held the phone up to me, so I could tell Marilyn that I was not great, but that I was going to get treatment and we would let her know. 
Linda looked at me and said, “We have to get you out of these things.  You know that time that your mother kept telling you about, you know where you might need clean underwear?  Well, this is it.”  As she helped me out of my clothes, I was trying to think of some bawdy comeback, but at this point, I was too embarrassed to reply.  She held my hand, smiled and said, “Don’t worry; I’ll be with you the whole way.”
There were three doctors in the Emergency Room and a large contingent of support staff.  They performed an Echo Scan on my heart, kind of like what a pregnant woman might use to view her unborn child.  They concurred, made introductions and I responded like I understood who everyone was and what they were telling me. 
I kept waiting for the news that I was going to have heart by-pass surgery.  They explained that I had complete blockage of the main coronary artery that goes into the heart, that I could not get any oxygen from my lungs to my heart as a result of this blockage.  They proposed a couple of options, but the only words I heard was “angioplasty” and “un-invasive”  They also explained the stent procedure, and what it meant to do it, or not to do I, that there is “risk,” that it is a decision and so forth.  I think I said something like, “I have already died, what is one more risk? Let’s do it!”
By now, this is a team sport.  I have an entourage just like the “Hip Hop guys.”  We took the elevator up to another floor and I tried cracking “wise” with the nurse Linda.  She wasn’t buying any of it.  I even tried arresting again.  Some people will do anything to get all of the attention.  We went into the operating theater.  I kept looking around to see if anyone was eating popcorn, but could only see white coats. 
Drs Peterson, Wang and Lawler attended to me in the Catheter Laboratory Operating Theatre.  Linda stayed with me the whole way, as she said she would.  It was kind of interesting.  I was awake for the whole thing.  You try to remain detached and maintain a kind of academic interest in what they are doing, but you really don’t want to know.  They made the incision and slipped the catheter into an artery in my groin.  They were glued to this TV screen like it was the NBA playoffs and I was sorry that I was left out of the fun.  I wanted to be up there with them.  I heard Dr. Wang explain that they had cleared the blockage.  They said I looked much better, I didn’t feel it, not yet anyway.  I was still trying to breathe.  They told me to hang in there and not to move.  I was doing my best to obey orders, because I really didn’t want to go through anything worse.  I heard the announcement that the stent had been placed and they were withdrawing the catheter from the artery. 
I lay there cold, weak and flaccid, gasping for breath, trying to be still, trying not to be embarrassed about my nakedness.   Several things went through my mind, the death experience and what had happened to me up to this point was at the top of the list.  I thought about being naked before my Maker and that such things really did not matter.  I thought about where I had been and tried to sort it out.  Then all at once, I really did begin to breathe easier.  I was told I looked pink.  I was grateful that I had nothing on that would clash.  I tried to ask a question and was told to lie still and everything would be fine.  They closed up the artery and provided me with a serious admonission, that if I moved over the next 24 hours I could bleed to death.  I thought to myself, this is going to get a little uncomfortable.  The Doctors congratulated me and I was wheeled out of the theater and into the Cardio Intensive Care unit. 
I thought, now I get some rest.  But alas, I became a popular person.  My 15 minutes of fame at Abbott Northwestern was just beginning.  Word spread of my emergency landing at the airport, my rush to the hospital and the stent placement, all successful.  I no sooner was placed in my bed than I had hospital guests.  A fireball nurse named Barbara came into my room.  She was glowing.  She declared that I had just experienced the “Level One Rapid Response” program.  She said that from the time the airplane doors were opened up and I was rushed to the hospital, and went through the stent placement procedure the total elapsed time was 43 minutes.   I was a poster child for everything going right.  It was my lucky day after all.  Doctors from all over the hospital came in to visit.  Dr. Lawler came in and showed a picture of my heart to me with the main coronary artery all marked out in black.  That was where the blockage was.  I had 100% blockage, which was why I could not get any oxygen into my heart. 
Everyone was happy!  I have to admit I felt pretty good too.  We called my wife, and we called my mother, who is 80.  She took it pretty well; I was surprised.  It was a kind of party atmosphere.  All I wanted to do at this point was go to sleep, the healthy kind. 
Later, I woke up kind of groggy.  I had been sedated and now I had an even bigger problem.  It was evening, I had a new nurse and I had to pee.  She thought she was being helpful when she came in and warned me not to move, because “I would bleed to death.”  That is pretty good motivation.  I had been laying in the same position now for over 9 hours with a sandbag on my crouch.  This was to hold everything in place so I did not open the artery and as it was so gently put, “bleed to death.”  I understood all of this, but nature called and I was on my back and trying my best to hold my own, as they say. 
Finally, the nurse came in with what looked like a wine carafe (could have been in its former life) and pleased with herself told me she had the solution.  Now get this picture: I am horizontal with a vertical object trying to hit a horizontal object.  The laws of physics do not apply.  I made a mighty attempt.   As I was on my own, I cheated and leaned a little onto my left to try to hit the mark.  I quit, laid back and tried to think of things in the desert.
 I went back to sleep after the nurse left the room, and then about a couple of hours later, I was awake again.  I thought, “I don’t want this woman to help me any more.”  I rang the bell and Jason a Cardio Intensive Care Nurse walked through the door.  The shifts had changed.  I told him I had to pee and that I had been in misery for some time.  He looked at me, he looked at the bottle and he said, “Hey man, you can’t do that, let me help you.” He did, too.  He helped me keep my sand bag in place, and we swung off the edge of the bed onto the floor, he pulled the curtain around me where I stood and enjoyed the most gratifying elimination in my lifetime.  Sometimes, you just really don’t know what you are grateful for in this life, until you are presented with them.
The next day, I was up and walking around.  Barbara came back in and told me that word had gotten out that about the remarkable chain of events surrounding my survival.  She asks if it was Okay for Fox News to come in and interview me for the evening news.  I said that I had no objection, that I welcomed the opportunity to thank everyone who was involved.  Throughout the day, I had several doctors and nurses stop by to visit.  David and Kevin, Nancy and Wendy all called that day to see how I was.  I gave them my e-mail address and told them I wanted to hear from them.
My employer called, as did other friends who had heard of my ordeal.  My wife, Marilyn, came in around noon and was a welcome sight.  It was all pretty special. 
The nursing staff was fantastic.  I moved from intensive care to a room on the cardio recovery ward.  They were all very attentive and willing to educate me as to what had happened and what I needed to be doing from this time forward.  I discovered that my blood sugars had shot through the roof, that my cholesterol was very high and my blood pressure was a little elevated.  Everything was topsy turvy.
The nurses began to introduce me to some of the many medications that I would need to be taking for awhile.  They started me on Lovenox.  This was to prevent blood clots.  It is a liquid injected into the tummy.  I ask, "Is it like Viagra?"  They said no, why?  I said, “Well, you know, Love Knocks?”  I was disappointed, but what can you do.  They put me on Cumadon for the same reason.  I was provided a dose of Plavix.  It was described as a kind of “Slick 50” or “Teflon” for the blood it is used to prevent further plaque build up in the arteries, especially in my newly placed stent.  I ask if it was extracted from the “duck billed plavix” from southern Australia.  They really did not know what I was talking about.  I was put on Lipitor for cholesterol, Actos for my sugar and a blood pressure medicine, as well as aspirin, and a bottle of nitroglycerin.  When I left that hospital, I was a walking pharmacy.  I could put Barry Bonds to shame.  I single handedly supported half of the TV programs that I watch in the evenings. 
I was in the hospital for a total of 3 days.  Nancy and Wendy came by and brought a pot of tulips.   They were terrific.  Nancy came back and gave Marilyn and I a ride to the Minneapolis Airport, she also helped me get through security.  I was so grateful to North West Airlines for having AED’s and saving my life that I thanked everyone I met.  They had no idea what I was talking about, but they seemed satisfied that a customer was being nice to them.  I sympathized with their bankruptcy and wished them a speedy recovery.  I am still grateful to the men and women of North West Airlines for their foresight in having emergency medical equipment and trained personnel on hand for situations like mine.  My gratitude goes out to a great many people.  I figure, in total, there had to have been more than a hundred people, in one way or another, involved in my rescue that day in January.  Together, they had launched me back into life with a second chance.  The way I expressed it after my rescue was “I had a lot of people rowing my boat ashore” on that day.  Thanks to each of you.