Monday, May 14, 2012

'Miracle Man' was in the right place when heart attack hit

by Colton Campbell/Times-Georgian

He had been complaining about chest pains all day, but he wrote it off as indigestion. When the people he works with suggested he see a doctor, he said, “No, I’m fine.”

Villa Rica Elementary School Principal Charles Johnson found himself in a doctor’s office later that day, but he was with his wife, Nancy, at Carrollton Orthopaedic. She was getting an epidural to help her ailing back.

Johnson’s chest started hurting “really bad” in the doctor’s office, and a nurse confirmed that he was having a heart attack.

“There was an auto defibrillator there, and they were able to save my life using that,” Johnson said.

The 24-year veteran of the Carroll County School System was taken to Tanner Medical Center, where he came to be known as “Miracle Man.” He spent nine more days at Tanner, spending six in ICU.

His doctors told him he died several times on the table and that he lost oxygen to his brain for 30 minutes. That has caused some short-term memory loss, which Johnson said has been the worst after-effect.

He suffered the massive heart attack Feb. 21 from a widowmaker clot in the left anterior coronary artery.

Even though doctors thought he was not going to be able to survive, he did.

Read more:Times-Georgian - Miracle Man was in the right place when heart attack hit

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