KINGWOOD, TX – With Thanksgiving upon us, Kingwood Football League coach Larry Lemond decided to stop by Fire Station 103 last week and thank the folks who brought him back to life.
His 9-year-old nephew Khristian Lemond was with him in the Riverwood Middle School parking lot when Larry, 39, first started experiencing his massive heart attack. “After practice, we got in the car. About 2 seconds later, he started breathing hard and then he looked at me when he laid down on the seat,” Khristian said, “so I thought that something was wrong. And then I got out of the car and rushed, and I told someone.”
He told Diane Kahler, who happened to be a respiratory therapist and former critical transport tech. “There I am with a patient that’s semi-responsive in his vehicle,” said Kahler, “and I have nothing. I have none of the tools that I’m used to having. So I was very happy when the firemen arrived.”
The firemen moved Larry, drenched in sweat, into their ambulance. “I laid my hand on his chest to see if I could feel a racing heartbeat,” said Capt. Ralph Royall with Houston Fire Station 103. “About that time, I lost heartbeats, respirations and all pulses. Technically, he had sudden death before my eyes.” That’s when they shocked Larry’s chest and restarted his quivering heart the first time.
“I couldn’t even bare to watch,” said Larry’s sister Martina Nixon, “so I just had to kneel down in the grass and pray. I just said one word– ‘pulse.’ And I got a tap on my shoulder from (fireman) Kelly saying, ‘we just found a pulse.'”
“We lost him probably three times going to the hospital,” said Capt Royall who stayed with him in the ambulance, “and we got him to the hospital with a heartbeat, and the good Lord saved him from there.”
Khristian was scared to approach his uncle after he was stabilized at the hospital, “I thought he was a ghost. On the movies, when people pass out or die or something, they become a ghost and they have to come back into their bodies. Well, I thought he was out of his body and he had to come back in it.”
It’s probably for the best, but Larry admitted, “I don’t remember anything three days before and about a week after.”
“When you go into cardiac arrest,” explained Dr. Keith Gates, HFD Asst. Medical Director, “your brain is no longer receiving the amount of blood it’s supposed to, so it goes into a shock state. That affects your memories.”
“I’m very very thankful that my son is still alive,” said Larry’s mom, Sandra. “And I’m so happy that the Kingwood Fire Department was there to respond.”
Had Khristian not acted so fast to find Kahler, who started respiration right away before the firemen arrived from across the street, Larry, dubbed “Mr. Miracle” by his hospital attendants, might no be with us today.
So at this Thanksgiving, Larry said he knows what he’s thankful for: “God and the paramedics gave me a second chance at life.”