A Houston police detective recently reunited with those who saved his life after suffering a massive heart attack last spring.
Detective James McFarland, a 30-year law enforcement veteran, had just returned from a family vacation to France and was waiting at the baggage claim at Newark Airport when he suddenly collapsed due to a major heart attack.
Fortunately, a fellow passenger who worked as an EMT stepped in to perform lifesaving CPR.
Port Authority police officers then transported McFarland to Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, where his medical team discovered that his heart was functioning at just 15% capacity.
“Three of his four major arteries were completely blocked, and he had a leaky mitral valve. A multidisciplinary team of cardiologists, heart failure specialists and cardiothoracic surgeons quickly diagnosed his condition, and, led by cardiac surgeon Dr. Persida Drotar, performed an emergency quadruple bypass and mitral valve repair,” the hospital said.
Months later, McFarland is back to work, exercising and practicing martial arts every day and spending time with his family — including his 13 grandchildren.
The detective reunited with his medical team and saviors on December 19 at the hospital in Essex County to express his gratitude.
McFarland also greeted the Port Authority officers who were at the airport at the time of the accident and said “Thank you.”
Those present remarked on how well McFarland was looking, and he said he felt good too.
The hospital is renowned in the country for its cardiac medicine.
“Newark Beth Israel is home to one of the nation’s 10-largest heart transplant centers, RWJBarnabas Health’s Heart Failure Treatment and Transplant Program; New Jersey’s only advanced lung disease and transplant program and a valve center that performs more cardiac valve procedures, including minimally invasive transcatheter aortic valve replacements (TAVRs), than any other center in the state,” the hospital’s website states.