Fernandes’ case was complicated. He didn’t have only a heart attack, which occurs when an artery that delivers oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle is blocked. He had a ventricular fibrillation arrest, meaning his heart stopped beating on its own for a period of time and his arteries were critically blocked, which impacted the electrical function of his heart.
Taken to UC Medical Center, Fernandes eventually underwent open heart surgery, a coronary artery bypass graft with a mitral valve repair courtesy of cardiac surgeon Dr. Louis B. Louis IV, along with cardiologists, nurses, respiratory therapists and others at UC Health’s Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit.
He spent nearly three weeks in the hospital recovering before being released.
Had Fernandes not received bystander CPR, along with AED, his brain would not have received the oxygen needed, and he wouldn’t have survived, UC Health said. A staggering 90% of people who experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest die before they make it to the hospital, according to the American Heart Association. But with CPR, the chance of survival for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest can double or triple.
“I’m thankful to be here,” Fernandes said. “I’m thankful I’m alive.”
Fernandes, who continues to recover at his Miamisburg home with his wife, Pat, said he remains grateful to Mills for his quick-thinking action to revive him.
“When I recover, I want to take some time and go visit him,” he said. “I’m just super gratified that he was continuing his education and job training in that (medical) area and knew what to do right away. He saved my life.”
He’s also extremely thankful to the staff of UC Health for their swift actions to repair and save his heart and to care so well for him afterward.
“You just can’t get to a better place,” Fernandes said. “They were great.”