The day after his son’s twins were born in 2012, Gary Brauchla, 68, went into cardiac arrest as he slept in his home in Pearce, Ariz.
Brauchla’s wife, Kathie, who is a former surgical technician, immediately called 911 and started cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Fifteen minutes later, paramedics took over administering CPR and shocked his heart with a defibrillator, restoring his heart rhythm.
Though Brauchla’s heart was restarted, he remained in a coma as he was flown by helicopter to Tucson. There, doctors treated him with coronary stents and therapeutic hypothermia (cooling his body) to reduce his brain’s need for oxygen and minimize the risk of brain injury.
“The doctors said it usually takes up to 48 hours for people to wake up, but after two days he still was not responding,” said Kathie.
Brauchla remained in a deep coma, until finally, 72 hours later after he was rewarmed, he gradually began to awaken.
Read more at the University of Arizona
Learn more: Heart Disease Facts Act Now