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“Arrested” Four Times

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Korey Loughry smiles outdoors

51-year-old patient writes book to thank interventional cardiologist and team who saved his life

Korey Loughry of Kent was halfway home when an intense burning began boring through the center of his chest. But it couldn’t be a heart attack, right? He was only 51, the youngest of eight children with no family history among them.

He kept trying to talk himself out of it. But somewhere, in his heart of hearts, he thought he might die that day. He fired off a text to his family, telling them he loved them. He pushed home, laid on the floor, took his blood pressure, Googled heart attack symptoms and then, finally, called 911.

The first cardiac arrest occurred in the Kent ambulance en route to University Hospitals Portage Medical Center. Korey was sitting up, noting the landmarks whizzing by the windows and consciously calculating how soon they’d arrive at the hospital. Then his heart when into V-tach, an arrhythmia in which the heart is beating too fast to refill and finally, the uncontrollable quivering known as V-fib.

“I remember thinking, ‘I can’t wait to get to the hospital. Hopefully they can fix what’s going on,’” Korey recalled.

Korey arrested four times that day – another time upon arrival in UH Portage’s Emergency Department and twice on the cardiac cath lab table in UH Portage’s Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute. Interventional cardiologist Myttle Mayuga, MD, later interviewed by Fox 8 about Korey’s remarkable story, saved him to see his 52nd birthday. She placed two stents in him that day and unblocked his left anterior descending artery.

Known as the widowmaker, a blockage of the left anterior descending artery often equates with sudden death.

Korey published his sobering story in a book titled I Was Arrested: A Candid Memoir of One Cardiac Arrest Survivor. In addition to Dr. Mayuga, he thanks his many caregivers, including Gretchen, Brittany, Marc, Nicole and Rachel. He even sought out the medics who brought him to the hospital and obtained his 911 recording, which he found surreal to hear.

In the book, Korey details his journey through cardiac rehabilitation, losing 40 pounds, adopting a heart-healthy diet, and expanding his support network beyond his beloved wife, Molly, and two adult children who are in the military. He also addresses his decision to seek counseling to help him process having died and been revived.

“There was a driving need to write this book to process everything and to thank these people who literally saved my life,” Korey said. In his book, Korey notes: “I’m seeing how really true it is that we inevitably bring the whole of who we are – struggles as well as strengths – to each new season that we face.”

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