Fairfield heart attack victim: ‘God sent those two angels’

Steve Moore likely would be dead today if just one in a series of events on July 1 didn’t happen.

The 50-year-old Fairfield resident was walking to his car after just finishing a workout at the Mercy HealthPlex on Mack Road when he began to feel sick. Thinking he might be coming down with the flu, he decided to go back into the HealthPlex to get a drink and have a seat until his nausea subsided.

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He didn’t make it.

A woman visiting her son inside a room in the cardiovascular unit saw Moore lying face down on the ground, half on the sidewalk and half in a driveway. She yelled for help.

Kathy Harvey, a registered nurse, thought something was wrong with the patient but her attention was guided to Moore. That’s when she bolted outside, bringing Amber Preston, a respiration therapist, with her. As Harvey headed outside, she directed the hospital operator to call 911 for an ambulance.

“He wasn’t moving,” said Harvey. “I went into our typical mode that we go into here when there’s an emergency.”

Preston said training kicked in as they both thought, “There’s somebody that needs our help. We’ve got to go help him.’”

They surrounded Moore, not yet moving him from his position, and took his vitals. He had a faint, inconsistent pulse and was “somewhat breathing.”

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After others came out to help, they moved him, still face down, onto the sidewalk.

Then they lost his pulse.

Harvey and Preston turned him over and immediately started CPR.

“We basically traded off doing CPR for a good 10, 15 minutes until an ambulance go there,” Preston said, who also applied the automated external defibrillator (AED) someone brought out from the HealthPlex.

It turned out Moore was in cardiogenic shock after suffering what Harvey called “a massive heart attack.”

The ambulance got Moore to the emergency room and he was immediately taken to the catheterization laboratory. There they intubated him so he could breathe, were able to open one of his three clogged arteries, increased his blood pressure, and inserted three stints into his arteries. He later was admitted to the cardiovascular unit.

Moore said he has no memory of what happened from right before when he collapsed to when he woke up in the hospital feeling “like a bull ran through my chest.”

But he’s thankful for Harvey and Preston.

“Thank God we didn’t need any of the stuff I sell,” said Moore, a sales representatives for medical devices used during open heart surgery.

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Moore was out of the hospital in a matter of days and was back to work in just more than one week.

“God sent those two angels, and it wasn’t the right time for me to go,” said Moore, who has been married to his wife Shannon for 21 years, and is the father of a daughter, Shelby, 17, a senior at Badin High School.

And if his heart attack didn’t happen when and where it did, Moore said, “it was bound to have happened, and that would have been it.”

“It was a second chance,” he said. “At 50 years old I could have been dead or around for 30 more years.”

He said he is glad it was the latter.

For their life-saving reactions, Harvey and Preston have been honored by Mercy Hospital-Fairfield and also recognized by the city of Fairfield and each received a key to the city. Mayor Steve Miller proclaimed Sept. 27, 2017 as Kathy Harvey Day in the city, and Sept. 28, 2017, as Amber Preston Day in the city.

“Amazing is an understatement. Significant is an understatement. You saved a life and the life is right here with us,” said Mayor Steve Miller during City Council’s Sept. 25 meeting. “In today’s society all you hear is the negative and bad. Tonight, here we have the good.”

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