In February we received a call from my cousin saying that my uncle had had a massive heart attack and was in ICU in Huntington Beach. She had left a message on our home #, which I don't check very frequently, so by the time I got the message and called them back, a couple of days had passed. We called family and asked them to stay with the kids while Kurt and I drove down to LA. We left late Friday night, stopped about 1/2 way down and then drove the rest of the way Saturday morning.
My uncle had gone out for his nightly walk and came home saying he didn't feel good. My aunt immediately gave him 3 baby aspirin and had him lay down. She said she was going to call 911 but he said not to and to just wait to see if the aspirin helped. My aunt didn't listen and called right away. The paramedics arrived and were talking to my uncle when the heart attack hit. They rushed him to the ER. The doctors decided that he needed a stint put in his heart so they rushed him in for the procedure. They gave him a 10% chance of surviving. The doctor later told my aunt that my uncle's heart had stopped 8 times between the ambulance ride, the ER and the operating table. After the procedure they had to bring his body temperature down super low (kind of like freezing him) to try to prevent any more damage to his other organs, including his brain. He was in a medically induced coma for several days.
When Kurt and I arrived, they were just bringing him out of the coma and waking him up. It was an absolute miracle that he was alive. They did several different tests on him, including a scan of his brain looking for brain damage, and everything came back perfect. He is a living miracle! They think that my aunt giving him the aspirin and calling 911 immediately so he received help as soon as the heart attack happened is what saved his life.
This is Anthony (my cousin's boyfriend), my cousin Samantha, me and Kurt.
Samantha, me and my aunt Saundra.
My one and only cousin.
Kurt and I drove home Sunday night. My uncle had to go back in for another procedure on Wednesday and so I flew back down to be with my aunt and cousin. My uncle was doing incredibly well. The doctors were so happy with his recovery.
I spent the rest of the week with them. I hadn't seen my uncle, aunt and cousin since my mom's funeral so it was good to spend time with them. Sure wish it was under better circumstances but it was just really nice to be with them.
One day we took a break from the hospital and went to the Huntington Beach Pier. It was so beautiful! We had a great time just walking and talking!
These pictures were taking on the same pier about 20 years apart.
Anthony and Samantha
My uncle continues to impress the doctors. He was back to work in 3 months and is doing so great! They just can't believe it! My aunt says that she heard a voice tell her "call 911 NOW! NOW!" and so she did. We all believe that that voice was my mom looking out for her big brother. If my aunt hadn't listened and responded quickly, we could have had a very different outcome.
Miracles still happen people! My uncle is proof of that!
But next time we go down, it is going to be a visit for having fun!