From Flight Nurse to Softball Teammate
September 16th, 2010 is a night I will never forget ,and neither will my family.
At that time, I was a Father to 4 young children at the ages of 7,5,3, and my youngest had just turned a year old. My wife and I had been married for 11 wonderful years and we both seemed to be in good health. I was working full time and also pursuing my Bachelors Degree as a full time student. I worked third shift at the time and my normal routine was to sleep right after work, wake up around 4, eat supper, do school work, help get the kids ready for bed, and leave for work again. The time I spent getting the kids ready for bed was time that I cherished before getting to work.
While doing schoolwork that evening, I started to get this aching pain in my upper chest area. I did not think anything of it because we had McDonalds for dinner that night per the kids request and I thought it was just some indigestion. I am an AEMT and I thought I was just getting sick. I started to sweat like I have never sweated before and just felt terrible. My wife had asked me to get my 1-year-old ready for bed and I had to stop because I thought I was going to get sick. She followed me outside and saw my appearance. She immediately said to get in the car because she was taking me to Urgent Care at the Aurora Clinic that was just up the road from our house.
I was shocked when the doctor came in and told me after looking at my 12 Lead EKG that I was having a very significant heart attack and that she had called Flight For Life to take me to St. Luke's in Milwaukee.
I was very nervous and upset with myself that I was putting my family through this. When my Mom came into the room and saw me, it broke my heart to see her react the way she did. My wife was the strong one of the group and honestly I believe she saved my life just as much as the doctors, nurses, and of course the Angels of the Sky, my flight crew. My Flight Nurse was Chris Thome and the Medic was Don Salvaggio. This was my first time ever flying in anything so I was pretty nervous on top of having a heart attack. The care I received was excellent! Chris took care of me with respect and compassion. I also remember talking with Don through the headset almost the whole way from Plymouth to Milwaukee.
I even joked with them and asked if we could fly over Miller Park on the way to St. Luke's.
I was quickly met on the roof of St. Luke's by their outstanding nurses and Dr. Allaquban and was taken to the Cath Lab. I had two stints placed in my Left Descending Artery and I was informed that this type of heart attack is very serious and many people die from this type. From the time I arrived at Urgent Care to the time I was taken to ICU at St. Lukes was just over 90 minutes.
Without the quick thinking of my wife, the excellent care I received at Urgent Care, and of course the awesome crew from Flight For Life, I may not be around to tell my story. It has been 5 years since this scary night and since then I have had the opportunity to not only meet my flight nurse Chris but also played softball with her. I can proudly say that my brother Cory Lund is a Communication Specialist with Flight For Life. I cannot state enough how proud I am of him and his work. Through him I have had the opportunity to meet some fantastic employees of Flight For Life and feel the State of Wisconsin is blessed to have such a great organization and people serving our state.