Kevin Smith was a symbol of good health until he collapsed.
Dublin, Ohio — Dublin resident Kevin Smith, 60, doesn’t look like someone who’s had sudden cardiac arrest or open heart surgery.
But that’s exactly why this kind of heart disease is so dangerous.
“I’ve always been interested in health and fitness, but in 2014 I found myself having trouble holding my breath,” Smith said.
Smith said doctors found her heart was weakened by years of irregular rhythms.
“Often it’s a silent killer that you don’t realize until something happens,” he says.
What happened to him was sudden cardiac arrest.
“Luckily, my girlfriend at the time gave me CPR. I don’t even remember going out. I literally woke up in the hospital eight hours later. What happened?” said Smith.
Smith said he was watching the Bengals’ game on Monday when Buffalo Bills forward Dumar Hamlin collapsed.
He says the tragedy on the field went home.
“I actually had four cardiac arrests in six years,” he says.
He has since had open-heart surgery to correct the aneurysm.
He, like the rest of the world, wants to know what stopped Hamlin’s heart.
Was it genetic or just a freak accident?
“Electricity. It would be interesting to see what caused the electrical event,” says Smith.
Smith believes the heart problem is likely hereditary, as his father died at the age of 42 of a heart problem.
Dr. Michael Jolly is a Cardiologist at OhioHealth Riverside Hospital.
He says he has treated two patients who had sudden cardiac arrest in the past six months.
“One had a cardiac arrest at LifeTime Fitness and another was playing tennis. said.
Also called an AED, Dr. Jolly says everyone should know how to work with an AED.
“As soon as the heart stops, it takes a second or two. There is no more blood flow to the brain and you just pass out,” he says.
The defibrillator is what the trainer used to get Dumar Hamlin’s heart back into rhythm on the field.
“Go on YouTube and learn how one of these features works, because it can be the difference between life and death,” says Dr. Jolly.
As for Kevin Smith, he has a defibrillator implanted in his chest to keep his heart from stopping again.
He said he knows what Hamlin is going through and wishes him a full recovery.
“I’m sure he doesn’t remember what happened. It’s a horrible event,” he says.
Sudden cardiac death is the leading cause of natural death in the United States.
About 325,000 adults die in the country each year. It accounts for half of all deaths from heart disease. It occurs most often in adults in their mid-30s to mid-40s.
The condition is rare in children, affecting only 1-2 out of 100,000 children each year.
Learn more about sudden cardiac arrest here.
https://www.10tv.com/article/news/local/dublin-man-who-suffered-4-cardiac-arrests-relates-damar-hamlins-recovery/530-71c948c3-ad1f-46b4-9740-7519a7b7c214 Dublin man with four cardiac arrests linked to recovery in Damerhamlin