My husband and I have been Thibodaux residents since 1981. Thibodaux has been a great place to raise our children and establish relationships with many others like us. We’ve been blessed with our friends that we now consider our extended family.
When the Wellness Center at Thibodaux Regional Medical Center first opened, we were amazed that our little town could have such a fine, all-inclusive facility for wellness and lifestyle changes. Recently, we found it to be much more than that. I am sharing this story to let others know just how blessed we are to be residents of Thibodaux and members of this fine facility.
On June 11, my husband was waiting for his regular Monday water-aerobics class. As he sat in the bench he always sits in, his instructor noticed he wasn’t his normal self. Another member in the pool acknowledged it when he slumped over. From what we’ve learned, his heart stopped and he was unconscious without a heartbeat or oxygen for an overall 14-minute period. Within a minute, the instructor and member in the pool (a former nurse) were calling for assistance and a team of wellness center employees and members were working to revive him. They administered CPR and used a defibrillator to revive him and had emergency personnel ready to transfer him to the hospital.
Once at the hospital, the cardiologist on staff wasted no time getting him to the cath lab to run tests to determine he had no damage to his heart. (All arteries were clear from a former open heart surgery.) But a series of tests revealed his heart went into arrhythmia and then just stopped. I was in Florida at the time, but our good friends stayed with our twins and their spouses until he was settled in his room in ICU. From that Monday night until Thursday, he was going through a procedure called hypothermia therapy in which he was paralyzed and sedated in the hopes of limiting neurological damage.
He remained in the hospital all week awaiting a pacemaker and defibrillator implant procedure on the following Monday, and was then discharged on Tuesday. Many members of the wellness center and hospital staff members heard of this incident but were not aware of who it was who had fallen ill. When we meet these people, some call him the hero, or the celebrity or the miracle man.
The heroes and celebrities are those who saved my husband’s life. First, the staff and members of the wellness center: Matt, Stephanie, Denise, Megan, Tammy, David, Mary, Kristy and the EMS response team. Secondly, the ICU and step-down nurses: Desmond, Olivia, Tiffany, Trace and Jamie. The step down unit nurses: James and Ashlyn. We appreciate the nurse technicians, cafeteria staff members, OT and PT personnel, housekeeping, risk manager and home-health director, who all came with smiles and offered support in our time of need. And last, but not least, the wonderful doctors: Dugas, Wong, Rais, Huvall, Patton, Gilmore (and nurse Carla), Denys (and nurse Ashley) and Fudge.
He was definitely in the right place at the right time and understands God must not have been ready for him yet. He alone is the miracle man. We realize that he now has a second chance in life to fulfill God’s purpose for him. Our hearts are full and we are humbled and blessed to have such wonderful people in our city and our lives who were caring and praying for us. God bless our family, friends and the members and staff of the Thibodaux Wellness Center and Thibodaux Regional Medical Center.
Pam McCann and her husband live in Thibodaux.