Five times in one day he got a cardiac arrest. Thanks to quick acting of his wife and his doctor, the then 45-year-old Eric van Die survived. He knows how important it is that people start CPR quickly. To HeartsafeLiving he tells his story.
“On the way to my own company, I did not feel good. It felt as if a huge adrenaline rush went through my whole body, like sort of panic attack. I lay in bed to recover a little, when my wife saw me be completely gray. She called the doctor, who came immediately. Just as he arrived, I passed out and I began to ‘gasp’. The doctor recognized the cardiac arrest, laid me on the ground and began CPR.”
“Because of defibrillation by ambulance paramedics my heart rhythm restored. But then I got yet another cardiac arrest. And once in the ambulance a third. In the hospital it showed that my coronary artery was blocked so that the blood supply was cut off. I then had angioplasty and a stent was placed. In total, I got five times a cardiac arrest that day.”
“If my wife would have brought the children to school that morning, she couldn’t call the doctor. I wouldn’t have been there anymore. That is such an unreal idea. At one moment nothing is wrong and at the other moment you’re almost dead. I never had problems with my heart and cardiovascular diseases didn’t run in my family. Together with my wife, two daughters and son, I celebrate the day that I survived every year.”
“I am very pleased that the people around me acted so decisively. I would like to give that back to others. That’s why I joined HeartsafeLiving. I had to learn how to perform CPR, so I took a resuscitation training. Secretely, I was a little afraid. For a long time I couldn’t stand the sound of an ambulance, the sound of a ‘flatline’ or the sound of charging an AED. That is strange: I never heard those sounds, because I was unconscious. Yet it hit me tremendously. However, since the time that I was on the training and started the AED, my fear was gone. It’s a good idea that I can help someone if the need arises.”