“Their ER team NEVER gave up on me!”

–Michael Richey

Mike Richey’s heart stopped eight times, but Rhea Medical’s ER team was determined to save his life.

It was October 12, 2017. Mike Richey, only 49 years old at the time, and his wife, Regina, were celebrating her birthday. “I started having chest pains around 10:30 that evening,” remembers Mike. “I was stubborn and wouldn’t go to the ER at Rhea Medical Center until my wife made me.”

It was the right place to go. At Rhea Medical Center, an
emergency physician is on-duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the triage area is equipped with an EKG so the medical team can quickly assess heart attack victims. Thirty seconds after Mike arrived, his eyes rolled back into his head and he collapsed. His heart had stopped.

Mike’s heart would stop eight times that night. Each time, the ER team that included Donny Hammond, Kevin Trew and Ivey Olson Baucom would administer a new dose of adrenaline,  but the heart would stop again. For two solid hours, the team performed CPR on Mike, working feverishly to save his life. Even when Mike threw up on Donny, he never missed a beat of CPR as the other two team members cleaned his face.

“I asked Donny why they worked on me for so long,” recalls Mike. “He said they’d made up their minds that I wasn’t going to die on their watch. I can’t believe I was so blessed to have these people there who were not going to give up on me.”

There’s only one reason Mike is alive today: the determination and all-out commitment of the emergency department at Rhea Medical Center. “There are no words to express my gratitude for what they did for me that night. My wife and I really believe they are my guardian angels.”