LIMA — The Lima Memorial Health System medical team and Lima area emergency medical services were honored Monday at the Heart Recovery Reunion for saving the lives of two Lima-area residents at Lima Memorial.
In June 2018 Nick Freistuhler, of Wapakoneta, and Libby McKean, of Harrod, were both admitted to Lima Memorial Health System after having a heart attack.
McKean was on her way home from her aunt’s funeral when she had a heart attack only 40 feet away away from her home.
“I don’t remember the rest of the way,” said McKean. “I just know I had to cross [state Route] 117 and the next thing I know I came across a lady with UConnect and she was talking to me, and I guess I pressed a button. Next thing I know, I heard sirens, and that’s all I remember.”
Freistuhler’s experience was totally different. He was on his way in the house from his garage when he almost passed out while experiencing a heart attack. Instead of calling EMS, his wife drove him to Lima Memorial Health System.
“I walked up to the emergency room, and I got in there and saw all of those people and thought it would take all night to get in,” said Freistuhler. “I told the lady at the desk that I was having a heart attack and they opened their doors up right away and they took me back, and from there on it was a little foggy.”
Both patients were treated by Lima Memorial interventional cardiologist Dr. Zane Dean, who implanted Impella heart pumps into their hearts. The Impella heart pump is designed to temporarily support the pumping function of the heart by independently pumping 3.5 liters of blood per minute for the patient.
“Through the amazing care of our cardiac team, coupled with this innovative heart pump, we are able to save lives when traditional measures fail,” Dean said in a news release.
Dean and other Lima Memorial Health System medical staff were recognized, and EMS staff from Perry Township Fire Department and Wayne Township Fire & Rescue were presented certificates for helping save the lives McKean and Freistuhler during the reunion Wednesday.
“I am very grateful because if it were not for them, I would not be there today,” said McKean. “We have a lot of family history. I had lost a brother at 27 with a massive heart attack, and if he had gotten the care right away, he would have been here today.”
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews.