A 53-year-old Norwalk man is alive thanks to the efforts of first responders and hospital employees after suffering a cardiac event.
Todd Boe, of Norwalk, knew he had a heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy, which affects his heart’s ability to pump blood effectively, said staff with Norwalk Hospital.
But for the past several years, Boe's had been living with his condition successfully, until the evening of July 6, when for no reason he suffered a life-threatening cardiac event when he collapsed during a family dinner outing, they said.
His family members immediately called 911 — and when they realized he was not breathing and had no pulse, they followed the 911 dispatcher’s instructions and began performing CPR.
Health officials said he was experiencing sudden cardiac arrest and because his heart stopped beating, his brain was not getting the oxygen it needed, making survival slim.
Just minutes after Boe collapsed, Norwalk Police Officer Jose Silva arrived and took over for the family members who were performing CPR.
Within a few minutes, Norwalk Fire Department Engine 5 also arrived on the scene and continued to provide life-saving care.
“When I arrived on the scene, Mr. Boe was on the floor in the dining room,” said Lt. Scott Rywolt of the Norwalk Fire Department’s Engine 5. “Police were already on the scene performing CPR. I assessed Mr. Boe’s condition and couldn’t find a carotid pulse.”
Because he could not find a pulse, firefighters connected an automated external defibrillator (AED). The AED detected a shockable rhythm and prompted Rywolt and his team to deliver a shock.
They then continued CPR until paramedics from Norwalk Hospital EMS arrived, the police department said.
On the way to the hospital, first responders continued CPR and administered two additional shocks to restore his heart rhythm.
Only minutes after the initial 911 call, Boe arrived in the emergency room, where the staff went to work to stabilize him.
After being transferred to the intensive care unit. and a health history was performed, it was decided that Boe's need to have surgery to insert an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) to prevent future cardiac events as soon as he was well enough.
After having surgery performed by Dr. Michael Pittaro, a Norwalk Hospital cardiologist, he met during his stay, Boe was discharged in six days with a new ICD that will help to prevent future cardiac events.
Health officials said his survival and recovery are due, in large part, to the pre-hospital care he received from the first responders.
“Officer Silva’s training and decisive action helped start the chain of survival for Mr. Boe. We are happy that we were there to help,” said Lt. Terry Blake of the Norwalk Police Department.
Boe couldn’t agree more.
“I’m grateful for all the care I received,” said Boe. “I was definitely at the right place at the right time.”
Note: The information in this story was provided by staff at Norwalk Hospital.
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