After the IDDBA, my wife and I decided to take a week long vacation to Orlando, FL as part of my timeshare. We decided to spend some time relaxing at an upscale Hilton Resort near Disney World and Epcot before we got our two girls from Maltese Matchmaker. On July 5th, 2016, we left for Orlando, FL. Once we arrived at the hotel, our room was not quite ready so we decided to go grab some lunch at a nearby restaurant. After we returned from lunch, we checked into this beautiful resort. I could not wait to get to the room. It was over 100* outside with a heat index of 108*. After unpacking our luggage, we decided it was time to go for a dip in the pool. The waterfall pool was absolutely gorgeous. The pool was so big, it actually had 2 waterfalls that extended out over the pool on each end. The sound of the rushing water made it extremely inviting to jump right in. I couldn’t wait much longer to go swimming. On this July day, it was so hot. We set up our lounge chairs and my wife proceeded to order something refreshing to drink from the bar and I had bottled water. Although I was technically on vacation, I was waiting on a very important phone call from my largest customer about an upcoming Holiday promotion. Needless to say, I could not get in touch with my Category Manager or his boss. At the same time, I was arguing with my daughter off and on about always asking me for money. It never seems to fail, every time I try to have some enjoyment in my life, my daughter proceeds to ask me for money. This has gone on for over the past 20+ years that she has been an adult living on her own or even while she was married. After finally getting my call from my customer, I decided to return to the pool for another 2 hours to try and relax. It was getting extremely hot outside. My wife and I decided to move ourselves to the Canopy Bar, which was still poolside. As we were deciding what to eat for dinner, we noticed some other couple eating Hot Wings. We looked at each other and said that looks like the prefect answer to an incredible evening. So we not only order one set of wings, but actually ordered a second opinion they were so good. After eating Hot Wings and drinking 2 more cold glasses of the best Iced Tea, we headed back to our room. It was getting close to 8:00 PM and we were heading quickly to the room so we could catch the beginning of America’s Got Talent. As we walked toward our room, I got a bit winded and stopped to catch my breath. I bent over this huge pond to look at the turtles and huge gold fish that were swimming down below. Once I finally caught my breath, we continued our walk. My wife and I were on the 5th floor of this hotel. As we approached the elevator, I grabbed hold of a luggage cart to lean on. The next thing you know. I got shocked. At first, I thought it was because I was still wet and touching a metal cart until it hit me again. This time, it knocked me down to the ground. My Defibrillator had gone off inside my chest. It began to repeatedly shock me 8 times over the next 17 minutes. A very nice person standing nearby, placed a beach towel or a jacket underneath my head to keep me from hitting the concrete below. I looked at my wife with absolute fear. Several people came to my aid, each calling 911. It seemed like hours, but it had only been about 12 minutes before the ambulances and firetrucks arrived. I was never unconscious all the way, but I had nearly passed out several times. I was sweating profusely. My heart was beating so hard, it actually felt like my Heart was going to come out of my chest. With each and every shock, I now had the look of fear in my eyes. I leaned over to my wife and told her goodbye. I actually thought I was going to die that afternoon. I was so scared. Once the paramedics arrived on the scene, they got me on to a stretcher and proceeded to take my vitals as I was being wheeled into the ambulance. The next thing I can remember, they were sticking needles in my neck and both arms and started IV drips. They were giving me Life Saving Heart Medicine. In all honesty, the paramedic to my left kept telling me I was going to be okay and to try not to move. I could hear them calling out my vital signs left and right. My heart was racing at over 235 Beats Per Minute and my pressure was at stroke levels 220/150. As we left for the nearby hospital, I just kept asking the paramedics for my wife. I wanted to tell her how much I loved her. I kept thinking at any minute I was going to have a massive Heart Attack. I wanted one more kiss goodbye if this was going to be the end of my life. So much had flashed before me in the last 10 minutes. I realized at that very moment, the last thing I said to my daughter was pretty ugly. Was this how she was going to remember her dad? What was my wife going to do if I died? OMG, I was an absolute basket case, until the drugs kicked in. I began to go in and out of conscious due to the Amiodarone and other Heart relaxing medicine they had given me in the ambulance. The next thing you know, I was in the hospital ER, surrounded by a number of doctors and nurses. I was back in AFIB, but this time I was also suffering from A-Flutter, which involves not only the left ventricle, which is the bottom of the heart, but the left atria, which is the top chamber of the heart. I was so out of sync. My Cardiologist was notified along with my Electrophysiologist. I knew I was going to have further time in the hospital. I spent the next several days in the hospital in Orlando, FL and once I was stable, my wife had checked us out of the hotel and we were on our way back to Saint Petersburg, FL. Some vacation we had!! I actually got to spend about 2 hours in the pool and never spent one night in this incredible luxury Grand Hilton Vacation Club property.
Will to Live -Love, Pride, & Fear – Part 84