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Brought Back From a Heart Attack

It was the bottom of the 8th in the over-50 softball league semi-final championship game. Ken Davis hit a line-drive to left field that he thought he could stretch into an inside-the-park homerun. Chuck Torgler remembers the scene, “He was running from third to home, and there was a play at home, and he end up getting thrown out, and he was walking over to the dugout and he got to this spot right here and he fell.” Ken, who had always been the picture of health, now lay motionless as people sprang into action. Chuck continues, “And they rolled him over. He had scratches here and scratches on his face, so we thought he busted his nose actually, because there was blood all around his mouth.” 

When they realized he was unresponsive, two of the players – a retired firefighter and retired EMT, started CPR. Chuck says, “I turned to a buddy of mine, Rick Harder, and I said, ‘We just need to pray. We need to pray’." Two calls went out. One to 911, the other to Ken’s wife, Vickie who was in Tennessee visiting family. Not recognizing the number, she let it go to voicemail. But moments later, something told her she should check it. Vickie recalls, “The voicemail said, ‘Hi, this is Gene Smith. I am with the softball league and it appears that your husband is having some issues. It appears to be his heart. I'm so very sorry. 911 has been called and the ambulance is on their way.’” 

Although 900 miles away, Vickie and her family did what they could. She continues, "We just prayed, asked the Lord to keep him safe. I have a choice right now. I have a choice to believe it or I have a choice to worry, and I'm going to make a choice right now to believe that he is okay, we’ve ask God the Father. And so, when I verbally made that conscious decision to say, ‘I am gonna believe God,’ I immediately felt peaceful.” 

Meanwhile, first responders of the Brevard County Fire Rescue were enroute. Based on the initial report, they felt there was little reason for anyone to hold on to hope. EMT, John Verbeck explains, “He had died at that point and there was resuscitation attempts being performed. Typically, when we go to a CPR in progress or cardiac arrest, again, the outcome's typically not good.” Back at the field, over 10 minutes had passed. Despite the heroic efforts, Ken still wasn’t responding. Chuck recalls, “I was just praying whatever the Holy Spirit put on my heart to pray and just was lifting up everybody that was working on him and just was praying that the EMTs and the fire department and whoever would get here quick.” 

Then, someone arrived with an AED machine they found on the other side of the complex. They quickly hooked Ken up and shocked his heart. They got a pulse. Moments later the firefighter EMTs arrived as Ken was just coming to. EMT David Glasser recalls, “He was responding when we got there on scene, and he had stable vital signs at that time.” John Verbeck says, “We started IVs. We started cardiac monitoring. We didn't want him to go back into the arrythmia that had caused him to become unresponsive.” David Glasser continues, “It is unusual to have a patient that had a cardiac event and to have them, you know, completely conscious.” 

They quickly stabilized Ken and sent him in an ambulance to the nearest hospital. After a barrage of tests, doctors still weren’t sure what was wrong and scheduled an exploratory surgery for the next day. Finally, Ken was able to call Vickie. She recalls, “It was it was a great relief to hear his voice, to know at least that he was conscious. ‘Course I was crying, and he was emotional.” Ken says, “I told her I was fine, and I told her I loved her, and she loved me.” 

Vickie caught an early flight the next day, arriving at the hospital just minutes before Ken went in for surgery. Vickie says, “I immediately walked in the room and gave him a big hug. Saw him there, course he had tubes all over and his face was a wreck. That is when it really hit me like, ‘Wow. This was truly, truly a miracle.’” 

In surgery, Ken’s cardiologist. Discovered the problem, a 90% blockage in his left main artery, also known as the widowmaker. Two stints restored blood flow. Vickie recalls them telling her, “It's a very, very rare thing when somebody survives it. And he, at that moment, said, ‘You are lucky to be alive. You are a miracle.’” Chuck believes, “This was a God thing. He had everybody orchestrated here to be able to do the work to save this man's life.” Ken says, “I really believe that this was a miracle. I mean, there was no way that, without the actions of the people on the field, the experience they had. And the miracle of just having all those guys there that night praying. There were just so many miracles all around. And uh I'm just thankful that that those miracles were in place.” 

Vickie says, “As I look back on the incident, I completely see God in every step of the way.” Ken was put on medications and released a few days later. He still enjoys an active life and is quick to share God’s miraculous power whenever he can. Ken says, “God is always in control. He's going to work through people. And he's going to put the people in the right place. There's a purpose for us being here. There's a purpose for me being here now. You just can't take life for granted. There's always something that's going to happen and God's in control."

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