Brian Evans was 34 when his heart stopped beating in December. Evans collapsed early one morning while working at the Whipple Cafe in Perry Township.“Physically speaking, scientifically, he had no vital signs, ” Dr. Ahmed Sabe, medical director of Mercy Medical Center's Heart Center. But then ...
Brian Evans was 34 when his heart stopped beating in December. Evans collapsed early one morning while working at the Whipple Cafe in Perry Township.
First, paramedics and, then, doctors at Mercy Medical Center tried to revive him for more than an hour.
Dr. Ahmed Sabe, medical director of Mercy’s Heart Center, told The Repository last year Evans defied the odds.
“If you can’t get him back, you usually stop,” Sabe said. “Physically speaking, scientifically, he had no vital signs.”
But then: Evans’ heart started beating again.
1. Near death changes things. Life is different now for Evans of Canton Township, who suffered from a heart arrhythmia. He is unable to do everything he used to do. “I cannot be outside in the heat for very long, and I cannot just go full force doing things fast,” he said. “I have to take my time and be careful. I have to always watch what I eat and do now. I am always worried that my heart will stop again.”
2. There are no guarantees. While heart problems run in Evans’ family, he said he didn’t think he would have to worry until he was at least 60. “Dealing with all that has happened at such a young age and knowing that my heart might not go back to normal is difficult,” Evans said. The couple hadn’t given his heart a second thought — before Dec. 10. Now tracking appointments with doctors and Evans’ medications fill much of his wife’s days.
3. Strength comes from inside. At 29, Liz Evans has learned firsthand the meaning of her vows to her husband “for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness ...” “I still wonder,” she said, “how I was able to stay so strong for Brian and our family while he was in the hospital, and we did not know if he was going to live.”
4. Healthy choices count. If given the chance, Brian would change a few things. No. 1, he would have stopped smoking sooner. No. 2, he would have taken better care of himself. “Maybe if I had gone to the doctor regularly like I should have,” he said, “I wouldn’t have gone through this.”
5. Every day is a gift. “The best thing about my day is waking up and knowing I have another day to spend with my wonderful wife and family,” Evans said. He and his wife are looking forward to spending the holidays this year at home with family — no hospitals in sight. “I still got the best Christmas gift last year,” said Liz Evans, “and that was my husband.”
COMPILED BY MELISSA GRIFFY SEETON