August 14th began as a normal day for Pastor Ash. He ran errands, answered emails, and completed paperwork for an upcoming conference. He was on his way to a lunch meeting when he started to feel a tightness in his chest. Having a previous encounter with open heart surgery, Pastor Ash knew the symptoms of a heart attack all too well. Being only minutes from Galion Hospital, he turned his car around and drove straight to the emergency department.

Walking into the hospital with urgency, Pastor Ash announced to the registration staff that he was having a heart attack. A nurse came quickly with a wheelchair and took him into an exam room. Within seconds, a “Cardiac Alert” was called over the intercom. Doctors, nurses, and techs filled the room. According to Ash, “one shaved my chest, one connected a portable EKG, and then a call went out to the cardiac catheterization lab, who sent a team STAT.”

Pastor Ash was wheeled from the emergency department to the cath lab and within minutes, his heart stopped once and then a second time. He was resuscitated through defibrillation. Once Ash’s heart started beating again, Dr. Joseph Mayo, Dr. Michael Davis, and Dr. Mohamad Saab were confronted with the difficult task of repairing the blocked vessel that was preventing blood from flowing to the heart. The procedure lasted several hours. While the team had collectively performed tens of thousands of heart interventions throughout their careers, this was their first case at Galion Hospital.

Galion Hospital had just opened its Level II Cath Lab at 8:00am that morning. Pastor Ash was the first patient. “If it weren’t for that moment in time, I don’t think my life would have been saved,” explained Pastor Ash. “If the heart attack had happened the day before, I probably would have died. My family and I really appreciate the care that Avita provided to save my life and bring me quickly back into functioning.”

After his procedures, Pastor Ash recovered in Galion Hospital’s intensive care unit. He was released from the hospital a few days later and is participating in Avita’s cardiac rehab program, right down the hall from the cath lab where his life was saved. Pastor Ash is back to doing the things he loves, including his pastoral duties with church and community, spending time with his wife, Peg, and their grandchildren, and riding his bike.

“God’s not done with me yet. God gets all the glory, and Dr. Mayo and his team get all the credit for doing what was humanly possible – the medical miracles!”