Dad's Trip Home Delayed

Monday, 28 Jun 2004 | Family, Travel

I received a call at around midnight California time last night from Stephanie indicating that my father had suffered a heart attack.

He was attending the last night of the Harvest Crusade in Hawaii. He complained of neck pain during the pre-message worship music at the crusade. He was taken to the hospital via ambulance accompanied by Stephanie, one of the church members who was also attending the crusade. She was there to comfort him on the trip to the hospital and in the emergency room. I'm so grateful that someone so thoughtful and giving was there for my dad. Thank you so much Stephanie!

I arranged with a pastor from Harvest Christian Fellowship to safely store his wallet and valuables at Tripler Army Medical Center where he is staying.

Apparently my dad was coherent and able to talk during the incident although I was not able to speak to him directly. Toni and I had talked to him on the phone just hours earlier in the day. He was packing so he would be ready for his early flight back home today.

They found that he had a blocked artery and initially tried to clear it using blood thinners. They used a defibrillator twice for his irregular heartbeat. His blood pressure was very low which is indicative of an arterial blockage. After the blood thinners only partially cleared his artery, they decided to perform a balloon angioplasty to clear the blockage. The procedure was successful in clearing his artery. I got to bed at about 3:00 am after I heard the results of the angioplasty.

He is currently in ICU B at Tripler in critical, but stable condition. He is sedated, intubated and they are using a temporary pacemaker to ensure his heart remains stable.

I talked to the Cardiologist last night and he indicated that he felt his prognosis for recovery was good. The angioplasty procedure could be critical, but he had made it through fine, so that was a good sign. He indicated there was probably at least one more blockage, but dad would need to recovery from this procedure before assessing whether another similar procedure or open heart surgery would be required. I should know more about his condition around noon California time today.

The cardiologist said that if things go well, he should be released from the hospital in five to seven days. I plan to fly out once I get a definitive date to accompany him back to California.

An Air Force chaplain who was attending the crusade with Harvest has been reassigned to Hawaii. His wife is flying back to California today, but he will be staying in Hawaii. He has graciously volunteered to look after my dad until my arrival in Hawaii.

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