Heart attack survivor thanks life-saving doctor - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Heart attack survivor thanks life-saving doctor

A decade ago then 36 year old Tim Andreas' heart stopped while on a run in New York City. Andreas luckily collapsed by Dr. Dinh Pham in front of Grand Central Station. 

"[He was] gasping for his chest and he fell to the floor," described Dr. Pham.

Whether it was divine intervention or brilliant intuition, church friend Peggy Higgins predicted days before that Time was in trouble.

"I asked my pastor to pray for Tim. I knew something wasn't right," gushed Higgins.

Dr. Pham said Tim can thank a scratched CD for his life-saving luck.

"My music that I wanted to hear on that CD starts skipping and I open the CD and it was scratched!" explained Dr. Pham.

He changed course, backtracked to return his CD and found Tim suffering a massive heart attack.

"If the CD did not scratch I would never know else different and Tim probably would've not been here," said Dr. Pham.

He performed CPR on Tim for 18 minutes until the ambulance arrived, but still hope was dwindling.

"Even some of the doctors attached to the situation were standing there tears flowing down their faces because it looked helpless. It looked hopeless," described Jerry Snider, pastor at Christian World.

Tim beat the odds. After a couple days on life support he was able to survive on his own and soon after proved he had no brain damage.

"The likelihood is one out of ten and even the one or two that survive that event often are left with damage and are unable to return to normal life. It's a medical miracle...a miracle of life," said Dr. Mike Turner, cardiologist at Cardiovascular Specialists.

Tim got the chance he has hoped for to meet Dr. Pham. Family and friends surprised Tim on the 10tenth anniversary of his massive heart attack in New York City with a party at the Lake Charles Country Club.

"I should not be here," said Tim. "It is a little strange to hear people talk because it would be the same thing and it does kind of sound like if I wasn't here what they would say at my funeral."

"I hear all these things said about people when they're gone, but often sometimes leave and think why don't we celebrate people while they can hear us," added Snider.

Tim, now 46 years old, continues to fight the symptoms of heart disease and has a defibrillator in case of another sudden heart attack.

Copyright 2011 KPLC. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly