Jim McGee should not be here today. The 58-year-old manager of Sapulpa’s Signs of The Times event center has had, by all accounts, nothing short of a miraculous encounter.
Nobody understands that better than McGee. His father died of a massive coronary while out fishing at just 59-years-old. Heart disease has a strong grip on the family. “I have no uncles over 60 in my family,” McGee says.
Last September, it looked like the disease would claim McGee himself when he experienced a heart attack commonly called “the widowmaker”. And though he’s not married, it seemed McGee was about to meet his Maker.
If you were to ask him, aside from his family history, there was nothing else to tell him that something was off that day. “I didn’t feel badly or anything,” he said.
It was September 21st, and McGee was setting up tables and preparing the event center for a wedding that would be happening that evening. At just before 10:30 am that morning, Chuck Bunch, arrived with his bride-to-be Lisa, along with her daughter Leah Cole, and other members, including Lindsay Allison. Leah is a Cardiac Care Unit nurse, and Lindsay is an ER nurse. Both of them arrived early. “If we had gotten there when we were originally supposed to, we’d have walked in to him lying on the floor,” Allison said.
Within five minutes, McGee collapsed and Lisa shouted “Nurses!” prompting Cole and Allison to turn around. They rushed to his side and began performing CPR, breaking two ribs and cracking three in the process. Allison says it’s going to happen. “If you’re not cracking ribs, you’re not doing it right,” she says.
McGee died at least twice on the floor before the ambulance arrived. When they were able to shock him and get his heart started, he was taken to St. John’s Hospital.
The diagnosis was unsurprising: two arteries at 100% blocked, and a third was at 96% blocked.
McGee was in the hospital a total of 10 days—another extraordinary feat. Doctors credit his early mobility to his quick recovery.
Now, talking with everyone about the ordeal, McGee says he’s looking forward to celebrating sixty. “You guys come,” —he motions to the girls— “and bring the shocker!”