Four years ago, Richard Obregon found out he had a heart condition that changed his family’s world forever. His condition, Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), caused his heart to sometimes beat rapidly.
Richard was recently working at a construction site in a new housing community in Jupiter, Fla. when the heat overwhelmed his heart, causing it to speed up to an alarming rate. He went into cardiac arrest, and it stopped beating altogether.
Richard’s friend who was working with him immediately began performing CPR. Paramedics who worked as security guards for the neighborhood took over and shocked him to get his heart started again.
When Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue arrived, the paramedics had to shock Richard’s heart again in the ambulance. For a short time, he was clinically dead.
Richard’s wife and children were in Miami at the time. So when they found out what happened, they rushed over to Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center where he was being treated.
“The hour and a half drive to the hospital felt like the longest drive of my life. I had no idea what kind of condition he’d be in when I got there. I kept thinking about our kids and how they would react if I had to tell them their father wasn’t coming home,” recalled Ary Herera, Richard’s wife.
Richard was on a breathing machine, and according to the E.R. doctor who treated Richard, Dr. Scott McFarland, when he arrived to the emergency room, he was barely alive.
“His heart was beating 286 times per minute, too fast to pump blood effectively to his brain,” stated Dr. McFarland. “We had to shock Richard’s heart for a third time, then sedate and intubate him before we were able to get a pulse-producing rhythm back.”
Because Richard’s heart was so weak, Cardiologist Dr. Jyoti B. Mohanty had to put in a pacemaker and defibrillator right away.
“We all excruciatingly waited for Richard to wake up,” Ary said. “We had no idea what to expect and what the extent of his brain damage was. Would he be able to talk? Would he remember us?”
The surgery was successful, and days later, Richard was finally able to go home. While he was excited, he knew the rest of his journey would be a struggle. Despite the memory loss, Richard feels so grateful to be alive and wants to spend as much time as possible with his biggest passions, his two children.
“No words can explain how thankful we are to everyone who saved his life, including his friend who knew CPR, the EMTs and the entire staff who cared for him at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center,” Ary said.
Richard feels it was a stroke of luck he ended up at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center since his family is from Cuba and they currently live in Hialeah, Fla. And so many people knew CPR and were able to keep him alive until he made it the PBGMC Heart & Vascular Center.
Richard said, “Being at PBGMC was the best thing that could have happened to me.”
This testimonial reflects results achieved by this patient. Each case must be independently evaluated and managed.