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On Tuesday, January 17, Rick had an episode of chest pain and tightness that lasted only about a minute. He declined to go to the hospital. On Wednesday, January 18, Rick had another matching episode, which again did not last long. He declined to go to hospital but called a nurse who scheduled a doctor appointment for him for that upcoming Friday, but instructed him to go directly to the hospital if he had another episode. Thursday morning at about 430 am, Rick woke me up complaining of severe chest pain and stated, "We need to go!" He refused ambulance service but I figured I could get him at least half way to the hospital before the ambulance would even get to us. So off we went. Driving 90mph and praying he didn't go into cardiac arrest in the passenger seat, we finally made it to Fairview Lakes Hospital in Wyoming, MN. After a few minutes and an EKG, the doctor instructed us that transport was on the way and that Rick was actively having a heart attack. In severe crushing chest pain, the doctors and nurses worked to stabilize Rick and control his pain for the ride down to the U of M hospital in Minneapolis.
Lights and siren at 450am, we headed to the U of M hospital. When we arrived, Rick went immediately from ambulance to the cardiac cath lab for a surgical procedure. I was updated shortly after he went in and told that Rick had several blocked areas and they were beginning to tackle the first but that Rick was stable. After that surgery I was escorted to a conference room where I was drawn a diagram and told about Rick's heart attack. 99% blocked in Left Coronary Artery, (LCA) 99.5% blocked in Circumflex Artery and 100% blocked in Right Coronary Artery (RCA). They placed stents to take care of the two 99% blockages and left the 100% blocked RCA because it would have been too much stress on his heart to do at that time. He would be in the ICU for a few hours to 24 hours depending on recovery.
After surgery and after settling into the ICU for about 15 minutes, Rick suffered a second heart attack. Rushed mach one as his heart rate was dropping we ran back down to the cardiac cath lab for another surgical procedure. Two hours later, I was informed that he suffered a second and more damaging heart attack. One of his heart vessels walls began dissecting (tearing) and was dissecting into a cross vessel as well. Quite the challenge they said, but Rick is a survivor. 7 stents later, Rick returned to the ICU, this time uncontrollably coughing. His lungs had fluid in them resulting from his heart not pumping efficiently due to injury.
Rick remains in the ICU, heart function half what it should be and struggling to keep fluid from building up in his lungs. He is on oxygen and IV medications to manage complications from his heart failure. He is in and out of sleepiness but hasn't slept much in last couple days. Company is welcomed. He is at the U of M hospital at 500 Harvard street in Minneapolis, Unit 4E, Room 517.
Surgery to repair his RCA will be tomorrow, January 23. Please keep Rick in your thoughts and prayers moving forward with recovery. This website is intended for family and friends to check updated status for Rick at your convenience and also to leave words, thoughts or prayers for Rick. Thank you everyone for all your continued support, help at home and with the kids has been especially helpful. Love to all! Angela 651-431-0862 (text only please).