First Heart Attack Patient Saved by UF Health’s New ECPR Program

Frank Lowman, a dedicated excavator operator from Williston, Florida, has proven that resilience and quick action can save a life. After suffering a heart attack that led to cardiac arrest, Lowman’s determination to return to work drove him to seek innovative medical treatment. Thanks to the groundbreaking extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ECPR) program at UF Health, Lowman became the first patient to receive this life-saving therapy for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and emerged with no lasting physical or neurological damage.

The ECPR program, launched in March 2023 at UF Health Shands Hospital, offers a ray of hope for patients facing near-certain death from cardiac arrest. Dr. Torben Becker, an expert in emergency medicine, hailed Lowman’s survival as a testament to the effectiveness of this advanced resuscitation technique.

In November 2023, Lowman’s heart stopped, triggering a swift response from his CPR-certified daughter, Kayla Watson, and local emergency services. With continuous CPR efforts for over 45 minutes, Lowman was brought to the UF Health emergency room unconscious, where the quick action of the medical team mobilized the ECPR intervention.

Under the care of Dr. Marc Maybauer and Dr. Eric Jeng, Lowman underwent ECPR therapy and subsequent coronary artery bypass graft surgery, eventually recovering after more than 100 hours on the ECMO machine. His miraculous survival highlights the importance of a well-coordinated system of care, as emphasized by Dr. Becker.

As Lowman returned to work just a few months later, his story stands as a testament to the power of cutting-edge medical Technology and the unwavering dedication of healthcare professionals. His daughter expressed gratitude to UF Health for their lifesaving efforts, underscoring the importance of CPR knowledge in emergency situations.

For those interested in making a difference in emergency situations, downloading the PulsePoint app can provide alerts about nearby medical emergencies. In a world where every second counts, being prepared and informed can truly save lives.

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