HOUSTON - A local family is looking forward to Father's Day, in awe that they still have a dad! He died back in March, but his son brought him back to life.
Rick Rogers is the father of three and grandfather of seven. He was just hanging out at his home with his family when he let out a yell and had his wife running to check on him.
"I actually thought he was just playing a joke or something at first, he was just lying there, not responding, and then all of a sudden he gasped and just let his breath out," exclaims Rick's wife, Ruth. "Then I started hitting him on the face, saying Rick, Rick, I said this is not funny, wake up, wake up."
"It was nerve-racking! I don't know how else to say it. It was a shock of fear, a whole lot of emotions going through at that point," states Jimmie, Rick's son.
They called 911 and were instructed to immediately begin CPR.
"He (Jimmie) kept him alive until the paramedics arrived, and they had to shock him 17 times before they could get him into the ICU," explains Ruth.
One of Rick's cardiologists at Memorial Hermann says that quality CPR was the key to Rick's survival.
"If chest compressions wouldn't have been initiated by his son, that he would not be here today. No doubt in my mind," says Dr. Daniel Hermann.
Rick doesn't remember much from that fateful day, but he does remember being shocked back to life.
"Probably like a major league baseball player with a wooden bat taking a swing and hitting you right here or maybe two big electrical wires touching them together," he explained. "It gave me quite a shock."
Rick has kept his sense of humor through it all and survived the unthinkable.
"He's a miracle story, he really is," exclaims Dr. Hermann.
When Rick was fighting for his life and his grandkids couldn't hug him and surround him with love, they immediately came up with a plan.
"We all went outside and one of them said, let's pray! And we went out into the yard, and we just knelt down, held hands, and we just prayed," explains Ruth. "It was just a miracle. I mean they told us that he had a .5% chance of surviving without any brain damage, and it was because of the CPR that got him to the point and Dr. Hermann was the one who actually saved his life from there on because if they had not performed what he did, he wouldn't be here today."
Rick is thrilled and relieved he was referred to Dr. Hermann at Memorial Hermann. He and his family believe his expertise is another lifesaver in all of this!
"We just want to thank Dr. Hermann and all the medical staff, the nurses were great, all the doctors who conferred with Dr. Hermann," says Jimmie.
It took quite a team at Memorial Hermann to revive Rick.
"I saw a list," says Rick. "I had 17 cardiologists."
Dr. Hermann determined Rick had multiple cardiac conditions that spiraled him into sudden cardiac death.
"He probably had a small heart attack that ultimately made his heart muscle become unstable, and then the heart rhythm just stopped, leading to sudden cardiac death," states Dr. Hermann.
The medical team performed all kinds of procedures to give Rick another chance, from a heart pump to stent placements, to an ablation to stabilize his heart rhythm. No doubt, this close-knit family appreciates each other now more than ever.
"His family is incredible! They were at the bedside, day and night. It was touching! When we saw him get up after he had been bedridden, for him standing up and walking to the door in ICU. I mean, it was hard not to get emotional, and that's why we do this. It was so amazing, because we all knew there was a chance he could survive, but to see it happen. Man, it's rewarding, it really is."
We want to wish Rick and his family a Happy Father's Day weekend!