Heart & Vascular Patient Wayne Macemore

Patient Wayne Macemore: “My heart stopped beating for 17 minutes.”
“My heart stopped beating for 17 minutes.”

Wayne Macemore likes to share his miracle story. His talk is titled: What is your purpose in life?

In 2009, Wayne, 45, was coaching third base for his son’s baseball team. Suddenly, he felt dizzy and passed out. Wayne began turning blue and his heart stopped.

Fortunately, CPR was started within seconds by nurses who happened to be at the Yadkin County Park ball field. An EMT, who was nearby, raced to the site.

Wayne’s family was at the game and saw everything: his wife, Teena, and their sons – Austin, 16, Colby, 8 and Braydon, 10, who was standing on third base when his father collapsed.

Wayne’s heart stopped for 17 minutes

When the ambulance pulled into Hoots Memorial Hospital, Wayne’s heart started beating again – 17 minutes after it had stopped.

The emergency medical care team kept working on Wayne until he had a steady heartbeat and blood pressure.

They packed Wayne in ice until his temperature reached 92 degrees and his heart slowed. Then the Critical Care Transport Unit took Wayne to Wake Forest Baptist, a Level I Trauma Center.

When the heart stops beating for a long period, blood doesn’t reach the brain and oxygen doesn’t reach the lungs. Brain or neurological damage can result.

It took four days before he regained consciousness. “The doctors prepared my family for the worst and started to run tests to see how extensive the damage was,” Wayne said. “The doctor said: ‘Squeeze my fingers if you understand me.’ He couldn’t believe I responded!”

Wayne had numerous blood tests, EKGs and echocardiograms. “They thought I had a massive heart attack but found no heart damage or blockages,” he said. “They determined it was a viral infection and as a result, I had an enlarged heart.”

Wayne discovers a new purpose in life

After 14 days, Wayne left the hospital with medication to help shrink his heart to normal size.

Wayne missed four months of work. He spent three of those months doing cardiac rehab at the Sticht Center at Wake Forest Baptist. He lost 25 pounds and is exercising. “Now I’m 85 to 90% of where I was, and that is no small thing,” he said.

In October Wayne went back to his job, and this spring he returned to coaching.

In the meantime, he tells his story. “I’ve spoken before many groups – whoever will listen. It’s my personal testimony: I know God has a purpose for me.”

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Last Updated: 05-21-2014
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