Man dies eight times but ultimately survives “widow maker” heart attack

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

When it comes to having a heart attack, every second counts.  For Al Fields his day began with chest pains and ended with a battle against a “widow-maker” heart attack.

It was pain Al had never felt before.

“I think it woud be like pulling your arm off without anesthesia,” said Fields.

Two hours later, he was fighting for his life.

“That is a pain, you just can not describe it,” said Fields.

After his normal treadmill workout at the gym, Al and his wife went home. He took a shower, but he did not feel any better.

“It just kept getting worse,” said Fields. “I came back and told Sue, ‘I think it is time to go to the hospital.’  Something was not right.”

The Fields family lives close to the hospital so they took a pass on taking an ambulance and drove to the ER.  Because Al was in such bad shape he did not get transfered to a different hospital, instead he went right to the operating table.

“My judgement, looking at him, he would not have survived a transfer,” said Dr. Joe Rossi with Witham Health Services.  “He was so sick.”

Dr. Rossi rushed Fields to the hospital’s Cath Lab.  Before the doctor could put in a stint to open up Al’s artery, he went into cardiac arrest.

“I saw everyone running,” said Sue Fields, Al’s wife.  “I thought, ‘This is not good’ so I went down the hallway, crying and praying because I knew it was bad.”

“He got shocked several times to bring his heart back, both before we opened up the artery and after,” said Dr. Rossi. “Fortunately, he stabilized in a dramatic fashion.”

“I do not need to complain, I died eight times, that means I still have one life left,” said Fields.

A life to spend fishing, spending time with his grand daughter, and doing his best to get out of “honey-dos.”

“I can’t, she won’t let me,” said Fields.  “She won’t let me.”

Al Fields recently wrapped up his post-heart attack rehabilitation.

Members of the Witham Health Services staff said what may have saved Fields’ life is something most men have a hard time with, admitting something does not feel right. In Al’s case, every last second really did count.