Steve, a key account manager for Motorola Solutions, has always been conscientious about his heart health because high cholesterol and heart disease both run in his family. His mother has a pacemaker, and his nephew had a heart transplant four years ago. Because of his risk factors, Steve has been seeing a cardiologist regularly since the mid-90s and taking medication to control his cholesterol.
As an adult, Steve was diagnosed with left ventricular hypertrophy, enlargement of the left ventricle wall, and cardiomyopathy, a weakening of the heart muscle. As his conditions worsened, Steve began having trouble breathing. On sales trips, he had to stop to catch his breath while walking from one gate to another at the airport. He gradually gave up tennis, then surfing, then golf. His lungs were constantly filling with fluid.
“A few years after I was diagnosed, I eventually went to the hospital several times in one year” said Steve. “Because I couldn’t breathe, I was afraid that if I went to sleep, I wouldn’t wake up.”
It was during one of those hospital stays that Steve suffered sudden cardiac arrest and fell into a coma. “The hospital called my wife and told her, ‘You may want to come and say goodbye to him,’” he said.