15 November 2006

Heart Attack!

It was Sunday and I was playing golf with a client/friend when he suddenly complained of pain and tightness of his chest. We brought him to the hospital at about 5pm. We were lucky to be able to pull some strings via our connections to get hold of a cardio-specialist on a Sunday. After looking at him and reading the print-out of the EKG, the results pointed to that of a impending heart attack.

Hospitalisation was recommended but the client/friend refused. Being an ang moh, he just didn't have enough faith in the level of medical care in Ch1na. Personally, I felt that the doctors here are just as good as anywhere else but I understood that his anxiety came from that of a matter of comfort level. Besides, language would be a problem, not only between the doctor and himself but also between MedJet Assistance and the Ch1nese hospital, should there be a need to do a air medivac. I knew that to have a plane in fly in from the US, it would take 3 to 4 days as a result of all the Gahmen red tapes. My friend would have been dead by then.

It was time to make a decision there and then. We decided to move him to a hospital in Hong Kong instead. Medivac from Hong Kong would be much easier anyway.

We headed back to the hotel to pack his stuff and check out of the hotel while I headed home to grab an overnight bag en route. My minivan arrived at 7pm on the dot and we got to the hospital in Hong Kong without any fuss. Even though, I had clearance to use the diplomatic channel, we didn't since the regular checkpoints weren't crowded on a Sunday night anyway. Saves me having to owe someone a favour anyway.

9:30pm and we were in the ER at Hong Kong Baptist Hospital, known for their strength in cardio cases. It was another round of EKG just to be sure and he was admitted right away.

The doctors injected him with a dye so that they can see how the blood flows in the body. As it turned out, one of the 3 main arteries in the heart was 98% blocked. Had he decided to hold off the treatment and fly back to the US first, he would have died in midair as the cabin pressure would have closed up the remaining 2%. Ironic, isn't it?

12:30am and the angioplasty procedure was performed. During which, his companion and I have gone to check ourselves into a hotel and grabbed some dinner. We came back to the ICU at 2:30am to find him awake, chatty and in good spirits. The procedure was a success. We got onto the phones and call everyone back in the US to report the good news.

We returned the next morning at 10am to move his stuff out of the ICU into a private ward where he is to rest and recuperate until discharge on Thursday. It was obvious that he was totally out of the woods as he was walking all over the place and harassing the nurses. Haiz.... chee ko pek, this guy.

 Nurse Lo: Everything is settled for now. Anything else I can get for you?

Friend: Your phone number.

Nurse Lo: Oh. *without batting an eyelid* My phone number is ....

Nurse Lo: 999.

Anyway, I took a few pictures of him to email to his family back home. It's amazing what powers of comfort a mere modest digital photo can offer....

.... except the picture where I took of him and the nurse. If the heart didn't kill him, the wife will. Oops.

Oh well, looks like I will be heading back to Hong Kong on Thursday morning to check him out of the hospital and send him to the airport for his home bound flight.

Update: Friend just called me from the hospital. He is dying....

...of boredom. That bladdy joker.

- Voxeros

1. sunflower left...
Wednesday, 15 November 2006 9:07 am
Glad that is not you who is admitted to Hospital.

2. aloe left...
Wednesday, 15 November 2006 9:45 am
If he can be chee ko pek, means he's well and healthy liao. Good loh. :) At least, everything's alright now. :)

3. JayWalk left...
Wednesday, 15 November 2006 10:30 am :: 
sunflower: Aww.. so sweet. I think we should go for laksa to celebrate my health when I get back.

Aloe: Rather him be a chee ko pek than a dead guy.

4. yanzzz left...
Wednesday, 15 November 2006 11:03 am
thought its u who got admitted ... heng ar .. wasn't u

5. JayWalk left...
Wednesday, 15 November 2006 1:39 pm ::
Yanzzz: Nope. Not me. Acherly hor, I *cough* sibeh fit *cough cough* one.

6. v_icks left...
Wednesday, 15 November 2006 9:40 pm ::
whoa. scarey how things could have turned out so wrong, but good that he recover lah.. haha..

7. spellbound left...
Wednesday, 15 November 2006 11:47 pm
*cough cough*
i didn't know you are so *cough* helpful.
then again, i am so proud of you leh, uncle jaywalk!
*pat pat*

8. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 16 November 2006 12:04 am ::
V_icks: Good to have you back. We were talking about his situation and we both agreed that he was never in danger of kicking the bucket (with the benefit of 20-20 hindsight), simply because his time wasn't up yet.

Spellbound: Well, the situation calls for immediate action. There was no time to hesitate. I just took control of the situation and just bulldoze my way through. Glad that everything turned out ok.

9. heatherina left...
Thursday, 16 November 2006 12:14 am ::
luckily he is ok, so funny, still can ask for the nurse's phone number!

10. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 16 November 2006 7:27 am :: 
Heatherina: Yeah, but the nurse's deadpan reply was lagi more classic!

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