Tags: tom ridge | heart attack | flatlined

Tom Ridge: I 'Flatlined' 3 Times After November Heart Attack

Tom Ridge: I 'Flatlined' 3 Times After November Heart Attack
(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 19 February 2018 02:15 PM

Former Homeland Security Chief Tom Ridge, who suffered a near fatal heart attack in a Texas hotel room in November, says he would likely be dead if it weren't for the heroism of first responders and hospital staff, The Washington Post reports.

"I'm told I flatlined three times," Ridge, 72, told The Post in his first public comments on the incident. "These first responders kept me alive … The first people to arrive and the last ones to leave are always the first responders."

Ridge, a former Pennsylvania governor, told The Post he was in an Austin, Texas hotel last Nov. 16 for a meeting of the Republican Governors Association when he woke up and realized he wasn't feeling well.

He told The Post he grabbed his cellphone to search for information on heart attacks. When his symptoms persisted, he did another search and found a checklist of heart attack symptoms.

"I said, 'Check. Check. Check. Ridge, you could be having a heart attack," he said. He struggled to reach the hotel telephone and called the hotel operator

"By the time I got to the phone, I knew I was in big trouble," he told the Post. "I woke up six days later," he said.

Ridge said he was told he had flatlined once in his room, once in the elevator and once in the hotel lobby.

He said EMS workers pounded on chest so hard to revive him they cracked his sternum and broke several ribs. Once he got to the hospital, he was put on life support.

He wasn't well enough to fly back to Washington for a month.

"The first day I walked outside, I don't know how blue the sky was, but it was the darkest blue I'd ever seen ever," he told The Post. "How fragile and precious life is, that we take so much for granted."

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Former Homeland Security Chief Tom Ridge, who suffered a near fatal heart attack in a Texas hotel room in November, says he would likely be dead if it weren't for the heroism of first responders and hospital staff.
tom ridge, heart attack, flatlined
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2018-15-19
Monday, 19 February 2018 02:15 PM
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