John Alico had a massive heart attack while he was driving. He pulled over and asked Linda (Mom) to drive him to the ER. They arrived at the nearby Brigham City ER, and the medical team put him into an ambulance and transferred him to the Ogden Regional Medical Center. At Ogden, he stopped breathing ( a "code blue") and was revived after seven minutes of CPR. Afterward, he was placed in a medically induced coma, and the staff cooled his body temperature to give his organs a chance to rest. His right coronary arteries were 90% blocked, and the left coronary arteries were 100% blocked. He was given four stents in the left coronary arteries of his heart through his radial artery, and then the staff implanted an Impella device through his femoral artery into the left ventricle to help his heart pump blood. To keep him still for the Impella (which was inserted through his right leg), he was placed in a drug-induced paralysis and given a ventilator.
Saturday, April 28
They found internal bleeding at the incision site for the Impella, and they thought there was a blood clot blocking blood flow to his right leg. They did a CT scan and found there was no clot, but there was minimal blood flow because of the body cooling/paralysis, and he needed to be warmed up. They started warming him up immediately.
Sunday, April 29
The warming-up process took about six hours. There were some complications with the Impella placement, and with the additional strain on his organs, Ogden thought that he would need an ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) instead of just an Impella. At this point, the staff determined that John needed to be transferred to the Univerisity of Utah Medical Center in Salt Lake City where they could perform the procedure. He was airlifted and arrived at the U of U at around 10am in very critical condition. By the time Christine and Susie joined Linda and Travis at the hospital around 11am, the doctors were very concerned about John's status and his ability to live through the ECMO surgery. Luckily, in the time they gave the family to deliberate about the surgery, John was stabilized and his numbers significantly improved to the point that the doctors no longer deemed the surgery necessary to keep him alive, since the Impella and the ventilator were providing the support he needed. By late afternoon, his body temperature was normal again. He started to wake up and could respond to verbal commands (wiggle your toes, squeeze your hands) and shake his head yes/no to questions. He was still heavily sedated to help with the pain. He was no longer paralyzed, but his right leg was placed in a brace to restrict movement because of the Impella.
At this point, it is now a waiting game to see if his heart improves. We'll continue to give updates in the journal.