Eric R. AlbertsWrong Eric R. Alberts?
Orlando Health Inc
1414 Kuhl Ave. MP 113
Orlando, Florida 32806
Company Description: Orlando Health is a $1.5 billion not-for-profit health care organization and a community-based network of nine hospitals and care centers in the Orlando region. The... more
“As the area’s only Level One Trauma we stand ready and waiting for patients with severe injuries,” said Eric Alberts, emergency preparedness manager, Security & Emergency Preparedness. “The objective of this exercise is to test our resources and methods to provide medical care in a completely different environment outside of the hospital while minimizing the impact to our Trauma Center and Emergency Department.
The cat tale began when Buddy - a onetime skittish stray that was getting beaten up in fights, now an affectionate, loveable kitty - began meowing wildly, jumping around unusually, and making a huge fuss to alert Jennifer that
"Buddy was the first link in my chain of survival," said Rick.
"Without Buddy, Jennifer would have never come out of
After failing to get a response from Rick, Jennifer immediately called 911 and promptly followed CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) instructions to start compressions to beat of a familiar song.
"The operator told me I had to be prepared to complete 600 compressions," said Jennifer. "It was overwhelming to hear, but I knew I had to do chest compressions-only to the beat of 'Stayin' Alive'. It was surreal to have that Bee Gees' song in my head while my husband lay there lifelessly. I remember getting to 300."
Once the Orlando Fire Department first responders arrived, they took over, using an automated external defibrillator.
"It was like a dream or something," said Jennifer.
"I had never seen anything like it except on television.
I heard them say 'Clear.' I couldn't believe it was happening.
From there Rick was transported to the Emergency Department at ORMC for continued care.
Clinicians credit Jennifer's quick response as a critical component to her husband's favorable outcome.
"Time is muscle so you need to move fast, that's the key thing," said Mukesh Kumar, MD, Rick's cardiologist who practices at ORMC.
In addition, Rick received a stent to open and restore blood flow through the blocked artery that caused the sudden cardiac arrest, followed by recovery in cardiac patient care units, and later completion of cardiac rehabilitation at the Orlando Health Heart Institute.
Rick continues to recover at home, with more heart healthy lifestyle changes including quitting smoking, preparing favorite meals with healthier, leaner options and walking.
Since the recovery from
"I feel like I died that day," said Rick. "I've been told by enough of my doctors and others that I am really lucky to be here. There was a small chance I would survive and an even smaller chance of coming out without brain damage and heart damage. I feel I owe it to the world, and I feel I can make a difference in helping others."
Rick and Jennifer recently returned to ORMC for a reunion with caregivers, and described it as a wonderful and healing way to say thank you. The two visited the Emergency Department, the MultiSystem Intensive Care Unit, the Cardiac Interventional Unit, the Cardiovascular Step Down Unit, and Cardiac Rehabilitation. They met with clinical staff, and team members from Spiritual Care, Environmental Services, Respiratory Care, and other departments.
"Having cared for Rick and his family is just part of our calling as critical care physicians," said Dr. Vollenweider.