Missouri brothers go into cardiac arrest at same time - KMOV.com

Missouri brothers go into cardiac arrest at same time

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. (AP) -- When Crocket Lacy went into cardiac arrest, he was lucky his brother, Ronnie, was there.

Then Ronnie had his own heart attack. Both men were taken to a Poplar Bluff hospital emergency room, where both of their hearts stopped virtually simultaneously.

Both were saved, but doctors are still amazed at the coincidence of two brothers going "code blue" at the same time.

The Poplar Bluff Daily American Republic reported that on March 3, Crocket, a 53-year-old disabled truck driver from Poplar Bluff, was not feeling well and went to the doctor but became impatient and left before being treated. He called his brother and told him he didn't feel well.

Minutes after Ronnie arrived at Crocket's home, Crocket's heart stopped beating. Ronnie and Crocket's wife began CPR and called 911. Ronnie's chest began hurting so when police officer Jerry Cates arrived, he took over CPR. Emergency crews showed up and got Crocket's heartbeat back.

Minutes after the family arrived at Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center, even as Crocket was being treated, Ronnie suffered a heart attack.

"They went code blue at the same time and both were revived at the same time," another brother, Eric, said.

The near-simultaneous heart attacks appeared to be an unlucky coincidence, and police said they weren't investigating.

Ronnie had triple-bypass surgery and was well enough to celebrate his 48th birthday on March 5.

Crocket's condition was more serious but he is improving. Eric said Crocket was on life-support for a while. His kidneys still aren't functioning properly.

"It will be days or weeks; it will be a long drawn-out deal on him," Eric said.

Having two brothers suffer heart attacks at the same time was a rarity for the medical staff.

"We were taking care of one brother who had a heart attack and his brother who was having chest pains was in a different exam room," emergency room registered nurse Brad Davis said. "Occasionally, family members become ill when they have someone in the emergency room, but it is unusual for them to have a life-threatening event at the same time."

Monitors are in a central location in the ER, so Davis saw both of the brothers go into the same potentially fatal rhythm simultaneously.

Cardiac surgeon Dr. Stanley Ziomek was finishing heart surgery on another patient when he learned of the brothers' plight. Dr. Rubima Mirza placed a stent in one of Ronnie's three blocked arteries and defibrillated him again, allowing Ziomek time to complete the surgery on his first patient before performing a triple bypass on Ronnie.

"Life is stranger than fiction," said Ziomek.

Ziomek said in 50 percent of people, the first heart attack is considered massive and can be fatal.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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