Chain of Survival & Mission: Lifeline – Heart Attack Survivor

Chain of Survival & Mission: Lifeline – Heart Attack Survivor

August 16, 2019 0 By Bertrand Dibbert


(dramatic music) – I’ve been involved with
the AHA since about 2007, when we initiated our state STEMI program, the Virginia Heart Attack Coalition, and since then we’ve been
working in collaboration with Mission Lifeline to
approve STEMI care in Virginia. – American Heart
Association put into place Misson Lifeline initiative
to really improve systems of heart attack care, MiCare. The AHA has promoted
through Mission Lifeline to develop systems of
care starting with EMS, the emergency room, and then the CAF lab. – Whether they present directly
to the emergency department, come in by ambulance,
or require transport, it’s goal is to be able to provide rapid restoration of
blood flow to the heart in patients who have a
myocardial infarction, or heart attack. – Mission Lifeline has enabled EMS to communicate with the emergency room, and the key to this is the 12-Lead ECG, because that’s really the diagnostic tool that tells us that there’s
a heart attack in process. – The care of patients
who have had heart attacks is also critically
dependent on the success of the initial CPR. If that is not done, and adequate blood flow is not restored or supplied to the brain, until definitive care can result, the patient can suffer
severe brain damage. (dramatic music) – Sunday morning we woke up and Mitchell was complaining
of chest pains, back pains. I left him in his bedroom, and I came back and he was on the floor. And I realized what was going on, so, I picked up the phone, and I dialed 9-1-1 and
I put them on speaker, and I started CPR. I had somehow managed to
use Mitchell’s cell phone to call his mom as I was on the phone with the 9-1-1 operator. – My phone rang, and I could see it was
Mitchell on the caller ID, but when I answered it, I couldn’t get anybody to talk to me, and then I heard Gretchen’s voice and she was counting. – [Gretchen] One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four. – And it took me about
two seconds to realize she was doing CPR. I remember thinking for
the first few minutes, “Please God, let me wake up. “Please let this be a nightmare.” – I’m sitting there, performing CPR, and screaming at him, then
crying at the same time. I just saw our whole relationship
flash before my eyes. Hold on, now I’m crying. – The call came in, we
just arrived on the scene, we were directed down to the basement where we found a young lady
doing chest compressions on a young man. We assumed CPR, we put the
gentleman on a defibrillator. – They brought out the
AED, and used the pads. I never thought I’d have to
hear the words shock advised on anyone that I knew or loved. – We did a 12-Lead EKG, which we’re using to
get the hospital ready for a STEMI, a patient
that’s having a heart attack. So we can take a picture
and then call the hospital, and say, “Hey, we’ll
be there in 25 minutes “with a heart attack patient.” – And they kept saying they don’t know if he was gonna make it. – It was so hard. It was really the scariest day of my life. (upbeat music) – I had an acute anterior
wall myocardial infarction, which is really a heart
attack due to blockage. – One of the arteries
supplying his heart muscle became completely blocked. As a result, there was no blood flow to that part of the heart,
causing heart damage. – It was just such a
relief when he woke up, and opened his eyes, and we could see immediately
that he recognized us. – Fortunately for him, his girlfriend performed bystander CPR, and was able to sustain
that until EMS came. – I’m CPR certified, I have been since 2007, I’ve taken a CPR course every year. – We just have to express how
grateful we are for Gretchen, for being there, for being trained in CPR, and making the call off to 9-1-1, and getting the whole process started. – Her being there by my side, just like she is pretty much every day, you know, I’m grateful for her. I’m glad she was there, I’m glad to still be kicking, still be just living my normal life. – Mitchell Harrison is an
amazing case of survival that wouldn’t have been possible, really, without the Mission Lifeline
initiative from American Heart. – Because of all the excellent care that Mitchell got through
the whole process, shortly after coming
home from the hospital, he was able to go back to all
of his regular activities. – It’s an example of what the
American Heart Association is trying to do every
day to promote awareness of heart attack symptoms, but also CPR. – I’m just so thankful that
the AHA provides CPR guidelines and trained millions of Americans, just like my girlfriend, Gretchen. – We are just extremely grateful because that’s why we’re
still a happy family today. – Whatever we can do
through Mission Lifeline to diagnose and manage
heart attack cases earlier, patients are gonna have
much, much better outcomes. (dramatic music)