Every year Patrick Cocherl Jr. and his wife return from a Florida winter sabbatical just in time for him to host an annual Super Bowl party. This year the couple returned to Kansas City on Thursday, February 2 instead of the normal Friday return. The next day Cocherl went into his company, Heartland Services, business as usual.
“I skipped breakfast and lunch and had a great day in the office,” Cocherl recalls, adding, “I returned home at 5:30 and went straight to my man cave to watch sports and read the newspaper. I always gift my wife and daughter a night on the Plaza on Super Bowl weekend, so I was home alone.”
While relaxing, Cocherl began to experience chest pain and uncomfortable pressure. Thinking his discomfort stemmed from heartburn, Cocherl ruled that out when he remembered he didn’t eat breakfast or lunch. Knowing a heart attack’s warning signs, Cocherl went to the bathroom, took an aspirin and noticed in the mirror that his jaw was stiffening. He began sweating profusely and at that moment knew he was having a heart attack.
Cocherl called 9-1-1 and the dispatcher gave him instructions on where to go in the home because he was alone. The fire truck arrived within three minutes.
“I saw them pull up and it was like a slow-motion scene from a television show,” Cocherl says. “The first responders all looked like guys straight from an issue of GQ.”
That was one of Cocherl’s last memories of the trip to the hospital, except when he heard an EMT say, “Sir, we’re not losing you tonight. We’re going to save you” and he replied, “My company is the worldwide repair center for Panasonic electronic PCs and mobile devices for law enforcement and first responders and I bet the equipment in this ambulance has been in at one point.”
Cocherl flat-lined several times during the short ride to Menorah Medical Center; on arrival, the emergency room team worked quickly and got him to the cath lab.
“Because of the fast, collaborative efforts by our EMS partners and the Menorah Medical Center Emergency Room team, we were able to rapidly diagnose Mr. Cocherl,” says Dr. George Pierson, M.D., PhD, FACC, interventional cardiologist. “In this particular instance the patient was able to be proactive since he knew heart attack’s warning signs and to call 9-1-1 as the emergency unfolded. When heart attacks happen, seconds count.”
“Great Saves are important because they allow us to publicly thank the First Responders we work closely with every day,” says Charles Laird, Chief Executive Officer, Menorah Medical Center. “Just as our employees are dedicated to providing high-quality, compassionate healthcare, First Responders are committed to helping save lives, such as Mr. Cocherl’s.”
Menorah Medical Center—part of HCA Midwest Health, Kansas City’s leading healthcare and heart care provider—is part of the Chest Pain Network.