A Grateful Heart

John and Ruth Ludwick

Doctors at UH Portage Medical Center saved John Ludwick’s life following cardiac arrest. He is pictured here with his wife, Ruth Ludwick, PhD, RN, FAAN, manager of the Center for Clinical Research at UH Portage Medical Center.

John Ludwick credits doctors, nurses and staff at UH Portage Medical Center with saving his life when he had cardiac arrest during a cardiac stress test in January. "I am alive because of them," said John, 66, of Kent, Ohio.

He also credits his wife, Ruth Ludwick, PhD, RN, FAAN, who works at UH Portage Medical Center as manager of the Center for Clinical Research. It was Ruth who urged her husband to see a doctor and find out why he was so tired all the time. "There were days when I just couldn't get out of bed. I was too tired. It never crossed my mind that I was having heart problems," John said.

John took Ruth's advice and scheduled appointments that would prove to be lifesaving. His primary care doctor referred John for tests at UH Portage Medical Center, which recently expanded its cardiology services at the hospital's UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute.

During testing, John remembers watching his heart beat with a normal rhythm on the monitor. Then everything changed. "The last thing I remember was seeing my heart fluttering. I knew that wasn't right," he said.

Ruth was working in the hospital and came running when she heard the Code Blue. David Rubin, MD, and the rest of the heart team used CPR and a defibrillator to resuscitate John. He came to within four minutes and was wheeled to a nearby cardiac catheterization department where Anjan Gupta, MD, an interventional cardiologist, opened a blocked artery and inserted a stent to restore blood flow. The entire event lasted just 20 minutes.

Later that night, John was alert and talking with his 11-month-old grandson on FaceTime. He had a sore chest from the CPR but a very grateful heart.

In February, John had another stent surgery, this time at UH Cleveland Medical Center to repair another artery that was 100-percent blocked. He gives thanks to the teams at UH Cleveland Medical Center and UH Portage Medical Center. In fact, this is the second time his life was saved by expert medical work. A decade ago, doctors at the Portage hospital found and treated John's esophageal cancer. He is 10-years cancer-free.

"I don’t think there is an adequate way to express my gratitude – and trust me. I am a woman of many words," said Ruth. "I thank them with all of my heart."

If you would like to make a donation to UH Portage Medical Center or UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute, please make your gift online or contact us at UHGiving@UHhospitals.org.