In the Loop

News and views from across Mayo Clinic

February 21, 2017

Five Years After Heart Attack, Nurse is Happy to Still Be Here For Family, Patients

By In the Loop

In the five years since he suffered a heart attack inside the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center in Rochester, registered nurse Andy Mc Monigle continues to be thankful for the emergency on-site care and mobile technology that helped keep him alive.

Five years ago, Andy Mc Monigle, suffered a heart attack in the men's locker room of the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center in Rochester. It was a frightening incident that could have ended very differently had it happened elsewhere. But thanks to the quick thinking of three Mayo Clinic residents — Christopher DeSimone, M.D., Ph.D., Daniel DeSimone, M.D., and Daniel Lueders, M.D. — who happened to be in the locker room at the time, and an assist from technology, Andy is alive and well today.

A big reason for that is because the doctors who came to Andy's aid were able to access Andy's electronic medical record on an iPad — a fairly recent development at that time — while still in the locker room. They learned about an existing blockage and reviewed a digital copy of an electrocardiogram he'd had a year before. That helped them gauge what was happening with Andy's heart. And when paramedics arrived, they could compare it with current readings. "I had the iPad in my left hand and the EKG strip in my right hand," Dr. Daniel DeSimone told us at the time. "We had his entire medical record at our fingertips, which in an emergency situation like this was priceless."

As he reflects back on the events of that day and "what could have been," Andy, a rehab nurse at Mayo Clinic, tells us he continues to be thankful to be alive, and to be around for some important events. A lot has happened in the past five years. One of Andy's sons graduated from college, and two others will graduate soon. Another son recently returned from the military and now works at Mayo. There also has been a wedding and an engagement. "These are all life events that I've cherished because I didn't miss out on them, and because my kids didn't miss out on having me there for them," he tells us.

Andy says he also feels "blessed to still be here" for his patients, who have appreciated his willingness to share his story. "I like to use my story as a teaching tool," he tells us, adding that his experience has given him more empathy as a caregiver.

Mark Henderson, a division chair in Mayo's Information Technology Department, also has shared Andy's story numerous times. Henderson says it's a great example of a real-world return on investment as Mayo improves and expands its technology tools and resources. "I've used Andy's story several times when speaking about the use of mobile technology at Mayo Clinic," Henderson tells us. "I've used it when I've spoken at Apple, and when I've spoken globally in places like Munich, Amsterdam and London," he says. "All of those audiences have really appreciated hearing about this real-world example of how technology and our IT teams at Mayo Clinic can be a partner in the care of our patients."

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Tags: Andy Mc Monigle, Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center, Dr. Christopher DeSimone, Dr. Daniel DeSimone, Employee Stories, Heart attack, Mark Henderson

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