It can happen in a heartbeat.
One second, Bill Verrier, who works in Engineering Services at South Shore Hospital, was racing to the Hospital’s cafeteria to sell M&Ms for his favorite charitable event, the Walk for Hospice. The next, he was laid out on the dining hall floor from a heart attack—with a second attack on the way.
Just last year, one of the worst possible health scares happened to Bill, age 57. Thankfully, it happened in one of the best possible places. Bill suffered two heart attacks in South Shore Hospital’s cafeteria surrounded by skilled doctors and nurses who save lives every single day.
“I came up here to the cafeteria and sat down,” Bill said. “I wasn’t feeling great, my heart was palpitating. Then I passed out. I was unresponsive. People immediately started working on me.”
Because his heart attack occurred at the home of a world-class cardiovascular center, Bill received life-saving CPR within seconds, followed by a shock from an Automatic External Defibrillator. Within minutes, he found himself on a stretcher in an elevator headed to the cardiac catheterization lab.
Tim Quigley, RN, Chief Nursing Officer, Matthew Weiss, MD, Critical Care Medicine, and Alison Gustafson, MD, Anesthesiology, were among the caregivers who responded immediately to treat Bill. In the catheterization lab, Adam Zucker, MD, placed two stents in Bill’s blocked artery to restore blood flow. Bill started to feel better right away and he returned home after a few days.
Thanks to the exceptional care he received so quickly, there was little structural damage to Bill’s heart and he has made a full recovery. “I walk three or four miles per day now,” he said, “and no more Oreos.”
“If it weren’t for the incredible doctors and nurses who just happened to be eating lunch at that very moment, my family’s world would have been turned upside-down,” said Bill’s son, Shawn. “The heart attacks were severe enough that if he were anywhere else, we would have lost him.”
Bill praises the close-knit team of colleagues at South Shore Hospital. “This is a place of work, but it’s really like a family,” he said. “There are very talented people working here. People at South Shore Hospital save lives every day. They saved mine.”
Watch this video to hear more about this amazing story from Bill and the South Shore Hospital caregivers who helped saved his life.
Because of the care Bill received from his South Shore Hospital colleagues, he and his family have chosen to make a gift to the South Shore Health System Foundation to honor all of the caregivers instrumental in saving his life. Visit our website to learn more about our Grateful Patient program and how you can make a donation in honor of a caregiver.