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Dr. McLain: Dr. [inaudible], I need you now. I need the crash cart. Michael. Michael. Can you hear me? As I was running in, Mr. Rebello’s wife was running out with her face buried in her hands.
Patty: I never even imagined what it would be like to lose someone that I fell in love with so instantly.
Male: You got any kind of a pulse right here?
Male: We very aggressively treated him.
Dr. McLain: We’re losing him. Start CPR again. Michael. Michael, stay with us.
Dr. McLain: He started coming around a little bit, awakened, smiled and said, "You guys are great. Thanks for everything you’re doing." Then he would go flatline again.
Patty: A lot of thoughts were going through my head about the crash cart and what that could mean.
Dr. McLain: In terms of how many times did he come around from basically nothing, I lost count.
Male: Let’s notify the ICU that we’ve got an admission here, and I need the intensivist now.
Patty: The team that was getting Mike ready to go to the Cath Lab kept saying, "We have to go now. I mean now." They had me run alongside the gurney, and they stopped so that I could kiss him. I really believe that they were allowing me to say good-bye to my husband for the last time.
Dr. Kaveh Bagheri: Interestingly, all of the coronary arteries, which is the blood supply to the heart, were perfectly normal. Here comes [Michael], who is apparently healthy prior to this. He hikes and he bikes, and now presents critically ill. So the puzzle was we could not explain it based on blockage, and the muscles were diffusely involved, which means it was the whole heart which was not pumping.
Patty: They showed us the video of Michael’s angiogram, and it was that time that we learned that this was not just a heart attack. This was something far different.
Dr. Bagheri: And I told her that despite everything that we are doing or Michael, the chance of his survival is very, very small.
Patty: Moment by moment we didn’t know how much longer Michael was going to be with us. I wanted him to know I was there, and I told him constantly “I’m right here with you. And if you can feel me, I’m holding your hand.” And it was very foreign for me to touch him and feel him cold, and watch the color leave his body.
Annie, RN: He was on a ventilator. That’s a breathing machine. He was on high dose pressers (inaudible) blood pressure. His color continued to be very cyanotic, which is blue. He was in liver and heart failure. Also kidney failure.
Patty: They had to work hard to keep him going. And I kept turning around to my brother-in-law and saying, “They’re saying he’s not going to live, but look at him. Watch him work. They’re working as if they can save him.”
Dr. Ronald Goldberg, Interventional Cardiologist: He was not going to survive the night if we — you know, if we didn’t do something. I said about the only thing that might help would be to put in a balloon pump, which would help improve perfusion to the tissues. The femoral artery is right about here. We thread it up this way. It pushes more blood into the arteries so the heart pumps better.
Patty: We could watch the purple in his body very slowly creep off his body. However, Dr. Bagheri again would take me outside the room and tell me that Michael is still very sick.
Dr. Bagheri: The balloon pump is a bridge to give him one day and next day after the balloon pump, his heart rhythm converted to normal sinus rhythm. The day that we put the balloon pump, his chance of dying was probably 99.9 percent. If you can survive from statistical standpoint, that is close to a miracle.
Michael: I’d lost the circulation from my thighs down. I was very lucky that they didn’t have to amputate my feet at that time. We sat down one night and [Patty] started explaining to me what happened, and it gave me a real good sense of what I had been through.
Patty: Michael was 40 days in the hospital. He has no memory from day 1 to day 33.
Michael: They tell me that I had to be resuscitated 10 times. It’s been a month this past Monday until we came home.
Patty: They believe that it was just an unknown virus that did it. Michael’s kidneys did regenerate themselves. Michael’s liver did come back. The infectious disease doctor that worked with us said there’s any number of viruses — it could be a flu virus, a mono virus, it could be a virus that gives you and I the flu or maybe we fight it off and get nothing, and in a very, very rare instance, it just went to his heart.
Michael: I really want to get out and go for my morning rides. That will be awesome when I can do that.
Patty: It’s a little dusty.
Michael: I will be on that bicycle. I know I will.
Annie: Oh my God. Hey, look at you. It’s just undescribable how good I feel seeing him come in like that smiling. It’s fantastic.
Male: [Inaudible] right there. How are you?
Michael: Great. [Overtalking] Just wanted to come up and thank you all. [Overtalking]
Dr. McLain: There he is with his big smile and his Hawaiian shirt, and his beaming wife, and I’m thinking how satisfying that is and what a thrill that is that you’re alive.
Patty: You ready for this?
Michael: Oh yeah. I’m ready to eat lunch, too.
Patty: Yeah, I don’t even know for sure if Michael was aware at the time I was there, but I would just kept talking into his hear, asking if he could feel that was me. I promised him over and over I would not leave him. How [do you] feel?
Michael: They’re OK.
Patty: The doctors and nurses encouraged me to talk to him because they believe that people can hear their loved ones when they’re not able to respond. And I’m so glad that I did that, because it kept me close to you talking to you, and I talked to you as if I knew you were coming back. If you had looked at the hard cold facts, this day wasn’t going to happen for us. I’d be out here alone.