Everyone knows there is a big difference between 26 and 90. But for me that difference means life.
As a retiree, I was enjoying some of the best times of my life. My wife and I were appreciating time with our family and some of our favorite hobbies like showing off our 66 Chevy.
And then one morning I didn’t feel quite right.
You don’t get to be my age without a bad day or two, so I pushed it aside. But throughout the morning, I developed indigestion-type symptoms and then fatigue. I had no pain, so, yet again, I dismissed thoughts of anything serious. But as the minutes ticked by, my body felt completely drained.
And then pain started radiating down my back. Before I knew it, I was lying on the floor, sweating profusely. At that moment, I could no longer ignore everything I had been rationalizing. I was having a heart attack.
As I lay on the floor, my condition deteriorated rapidly. I knew I needed help right away. My wife loaded me into the car and raced the 10 minutes to OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center.
During the car ride, I began to lose my vision and sounds became garbled. By the time we arrived, I was almost completely unresponsive.
OSF Saint Anthony's Emergency Medicine team immediately performed an EKG and notified the Cardiovascular Department. Within 12 minutes of my arrival, a cardiologist determined I was having a major heart attack. After 26 minutes, the Cardiovascular Team restored blood flow to my heart. It felt like someone had flipped my switch back on. Instantly, I could see, hear and speak as if nothing had happened.
Here is the amazing thing – the national average for hospitals to restore blood flow is 90 minutes. If that had been true in my situation, I’m not sure I would have survived.
OSF Saint Anthony’s expertise and timely care saved me. Because of them, my wife and I get to enjoy many more years together with our family doing things we love and that is truly priceless.
So, how important is the difference between 26 and 90? Take it from someone who knows – It means life. It means my family, friends and neighbors can count on OSF Saint Anthony’s to be there when they need help. I am thankful that OSF Saint Anthony’s was there for me and my family – and trust that through the generosity of our community, they’ll be there for yours.