CASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- A 32-year-old Castle Rock man counted his blessings after his heart stopped without any warning.
Several things had to fall in line for him to survive what is usually fatal.
It’s a visit to Greg Archer’s home that so easily might never have happened after a 15-day battle in the hospital.
“You did CPR on me?’ Archer asked one of three visitors Friday.
He thanked each person who played a part of a chain of events that saved his life August 6.
“I suffered from Sudden Cardiac Death. It’s basically a massive heart attack without warning,” Archer said.
He collapsed face-first on his front lawn. His next-door-neighbor, Jamie Baumgardner, had just arrived home from work.
“There was a huge traffic jam on I-25, so I took (Highway) 83 around--which is weird because I would have gotten home five, 10 minutes earlier and maybe not have seen Greg. Thank God for the way things worked out,” he said.
He ran to get his father-in-law, a retired doctor visiting that afternoon from Evergreen.
“When I came out, I saw Greg laying on the lawn. I turned him over. He was just ashen gray, no respiration, no pulse,” Joe Remillard said.
The doctor, his wife and Baumgardner did CPR until paramedics arrived, who performed the second life-saving act of shocking Greg’s heart back to normal rhythm.
“He needed three things to happen in order--and all three of them happened,” said Dr. Jeff Sippel, who treated Archer.
That third thing was the opening of the new Castle Rock Adventist Hospital—just five days earlier. The availability of the full-service hospital meant no delays in treatment if he'd had to go to another hospital, further away.
“In literally 27 minutes, he went from being dead on the grass on his front lawn, to having a really good opportunity to survive,” Dr. Sippel said.
“To think they there at the right time. I want to go hug them too and say thank you,” Archer’s teary mom, Mary Sue, said about the Good Samaritans.
It was a day of thanks and heavy emotions.
“Thank you for giving me my son back,” Archer’s dad said.
It is a day when everything came together to save one man’s life.
“I believe God wasn’t ready for me,” Archer added.
The Iraq War veteran now has an implantable defibrillator to shock his heart back to normal should it stop again.
Doctors say they're unsure why this happened, but say it could be related to medication he takes for migraines.
Archer's brush with death also led him to propose to his girlfriend from his hospital bed.AlertMe