Saturday, October 17, 2015

Dear First Responders,

I know many times you know nothing about your patients when they roll through your doors, or the outcome after their discharge. I wanted to thank you for the excellent care my husband received when he was a patient this spring....... from my point of view as a wife. 

Thank you for all you do from the bottom of my heart. I know you are overworked and under appreciated. Words are not adequate to thank you, but here goes....

April 11, 2015.....It was opening day at our community ballpark. My oldest son, Kohen, loves baseball. We were excited about the new season. Some of the parents decided to play a game that evening. Zack decided to suit up and play ball. 

A few minutes after I arrived at the park, he walked off the field and towards me........ "I don't feel so good.....I think I hurt my arms when I was up to bat, "he said. He very pale and diaphoretic. Then he heaved as if to vomit....... Time stood mind began to race.....part of me was stunned and in disbelief.......another part of me suspected he was having a heart attack.  But, that makes NO sense. He had no cardiac history and had never had ANY chest pain or other cardiac symptoms. Zack was very calm, I was calm....... everyone was very cool and collected as we waited for the ambulance to arrive.

I followed the ambulance and when I arrived at the hospital, I was immediately greeted by the patient rep and escorted to another room. Then.......I began to  PANIC 😖😬 a bit,  on the inside. I was not sure what to think............

Everything was happening so quickly.....The rep took me to see him, the MD then informed me he has was INDEED having a massive heart attack and he was going to the cath lab ASAP.

There were so many staff members in the room scurrying around. The only faces I remember seeing are those the doctor, the patient rep, and that of my husband.

One minute we were enjoying a nice night at the park and the next, my husband was telling me there was some cash in his truck at the park "in case anything happened." He had 100% occlusion of his LAD (a major coronary artery known as the widow maker) and some less severe blockages on the front side of the heart. Dr. Laney eventually concluded that most likely scenario was a piece of plaque ruptured while he was playing ball and caused the occlusion.

I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. God was TRULY watching over us that day in so many ways. Zack was at the park with plenty of people and not somewhere alone. We reacted quickly and he received immediate medical attention. He received excellent care from everyone involved; the fire department,  HEMSI, and the Huntsville Hospital staff. 

Since that day, there have been some major lifestyle changes. Zack, in his own words," has gone from 21 cheeseburgers a week to 2. He has made some huge changes in his diet. He recently graduated from a cardiac rehab exercise program. His cholesterol is now114. He is not only as good as new, but better. We are so blessed and thankful that he is! 

He is many things to many people. He is a high school sweetheart turned husband to me, father to our two boys Kohen and Caleb, and our spoiled rotten dog, Lacy,  the only living son of his parents, a quiet, easy going friend, a hunting and fishing buddy, owner of a small family business.......

Again, I wanted to thank you all for the amazing care he received that day. let you know a little bit about whose life you saved that day and that he is doing great. 

Forever grateful, 
Alicia James



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