LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A local man is lucky to be alive after going into cardiac arrest.
His heart had stopped shortly after he arrived at the emergency room.
Doctors didn’t give up on the patient, who had to be shocked more than 20 times.
“I remember I was holding my hair because I was in such pain and my legs are jerking, kicking,” says Gene Oyler, who suffered cardiac arrest.
One night he woke up and felt aching pain in his arms. He took a Tylenol but the pain became worse.
Gene told his wife Melinda they needed to get to the hospital fast.
“We were driving and I was in such pain, I said how fast are you going? She says I’m going 85. And I’m ‘go faster,'” he says.
“I just kinda tuned him out, I feel like God was in control of the whole situation,” she says.
Twenty minutes after getting to Baptist Health in North Little Rock, Gene went into cardiac arrest.
Hospital staff used a defibrillator to keep his heart going.
“Every time we shocked him, his heart would go back to a normal rhythm, but quickly would degrade back to VFib and we’d have to shock him again,” explains Dr. David Swindle, Baptist Health Emergency Room Physician.
Had this happened to Gene outside the hospital, Dr. Swindle says his likelihood of being here today, wouldn’t be great.
“He did work very hard to get this guy stabilized enough in the ER to make it into the cath lab. Had he not done that, I would’ve never met the patient and it would’ve been a totally different outcome,” says Dr. Randy Minton, Cardiologist.
The heart doctor got the call to come in and perform emergency surgery on Gene.
“Get the artery open, it opened up very quickly, restored the flow very quickly, and as such, damage was minimal,” Dr. Minton adds.
Today, Gene is grateful for another chance. He’s exercising and eating better.
“We look back on it all and I was so lucky, so blessed over so many things,” he says, adding that the doctors and staff at Baptist Health saved his life.