John Long had the best Mother's Day ever this year. His baby granddaughter, Veronica Faith, was born that day - four days early. He believes that her arrival saved his life.
John and his wife Geraldine were visiting the baby and her parents, Jennifer and Michael Long, at Grand View a few days after she was born. They had brought along Cassandra, Veronica's two-year-old sister. Michael had just left for the cafeteria when Geraldine noticed that John didn't look right. When she spoke and he didn't respond, Jennifer called for help. "For someone who had just had a C-section, I ran into the hall as fast I could," ennifer said. "White coats came from every direction. I grabbed Cassandra and got out of the room. Michael heard the emergency page for my room and came running."
Maternity nurse Roe Valone, RN, moved John from the chair to the floor and started CPR and chest compressions. Cardiologist Todd Alderfer, MD, arrived almost immediately and connected John to a heart monitor, which showed that his heart had stopped. Dr. Alderfer used a defibrillator to shock John's heart back into a normal rhythm. He was then immediately taken to the cardiac catheterization laboratory, where cardiologist J. Doyle Walton, MD, performed a cardiac catheterization procedure. John was later fitted with an internal defibrillator to prevent another life-threatening arrhythmia, which had caused his heart to stop.
"Mr. Long was in the right place at the right time," Dr. Alderfer said. "Our specialized code teams are trained to respond immediately to any emergency in the hospital. Every second counts for brain and heart cells. If this had happened at home, John probably wouldn't have survived."
"The last thing I remember was handing Veronica back to Geraldine," John said. "When I woke up on the floor, I thought I had fallen asleep and fell out of the chair. I didn't understand I had essentially died." Later that evening, the family reflected on all that had happened. "Everyone came together beautifully. They saved John's life, and the maternity nurses took such good care of the rest of us," Jennifer said. "John and Veronica have a special connection now. She's his little angel."