BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — In April 2017, Registered nurse Michael Lovelace was teaching a class at UAB...
“I started becoming short of breath, and I did what any good nurse would do I just sat down and said, it will go away,” said Lovelace.
It didn’t, so he says he drove himself to the ER down the street.
“They did an EKG on me and said, ‘Hey you’re having a heart attack’,” said Lovelace.
Ken Harris, a friend and student of Lovelace, was his nurse that day.
“When he reached over and grabbed my arm and told me how scared he was that, in the scheme of things I knew something was wrong,” said Harris.
Shortly after, Lovelace says things went black.
“I went into cardiac arrest. I’d taught Ken CPR as well as ACLS, an advanced cardiac life support class, many times in the past, and I never thought that I would be the one who needs it,” said Lovelace.
“Most of the people in that room had learned at least basic CPR, if not their ACLS training from Mike, and if they didn’t learn it from Mike, they probably learned it from somebody Mike taught,” said Harris.
Thankfully, Lovelace was a good teacher. In his class, he uses an automated machine that teaches CPR through simulations.
His students hit him with more than one half dozen chest compression rounds, 11 broken ribs and three shocks while he was out.
“...He woke up right before the shock was delivered, so he said he didn’t necessarily see any white light, but he did get to ride the lightning,” said Harris.
“It felt like a bolt of lightning hit me. That’s the best way I can describe it but in a way, it was really good, because Ken heard me groan - and say a few choice words because it hurt - but he knew that I was alive,” said Lovelace.
They say it’s changed things for them, at least the way they approach the job.
“It is different taking care of someone that you know, someone that you respect and someone that you care about,” said Harris
“Since that time I’ve learned that the education that I [give] people, I do it with even more passion now.... I take a personal approach to it even more so now because I know that one day that might be me again,” said Lovelace.
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