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Quick response saves Wheaton man’s life at Adventist GlenOaks Hospital

Photo caption: Wheaton resident Michael Keck thanks Adventist GlenOaks Hospital nurse Sara Humes for caring for him when he was rushed to the hospital after suffering a heart attack.

Glendale Heights – Michael Keck and his wife had always considered Adventist GlenOaks Hospital a special place because their son was born there in 1985. The hospital took on still more significance recently, when he was treated there following another life-altering incident.

A few days before Thanksgiving, Keck was looking forward to meeting friends at the Rosemont Convention Center. But he never made it to the event.

“As I was walking from the parking lot, I got very short of breath before I reached the door,” said the 56-year-old Wheaton resident. “I went back to the car to go home. As I drove back, I had difficulty breathing and my arms felt very heavy. I wasn’t sure I could make it home.”

Keck saw an Illinois state trooper in the median on the Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355) near Army Trail Road and pulled over behind the squad car. The state trooper immediately called for an ambulance and paramedics from the Addison Fire Protection District arrived within minutes.

“I walked over to the paramedics in the ambulance and told them I thought I was having a heart attack,” Keck recalled. “Then I passed out.”

When Keck went into cardiac arrest, paramedics used chest compressions to revive him.

“They told me I turned blue,” Keck said. “My heart was not beating right, but the paramedics got me going again. The next thing I knew, I was at Adventist GlenOaks Hospital and the staff was prepping me for the angiogram. By then, I felt fine.

“I wasn’t conscious, but I know that the hospital was ready for me when the ambulance pulled up,” Keck said.

Keck was transported from the emergency department to the cardiac catheterization lab just minutes after he arrived by ambulance. There Dr. Aziz Ahmed performed an angiogram, medical imaging that uses dye to detect blockage in the coronary arteries. The medical team determined that Keck needed open heart surgery and referred him to another hospital after he was stabilized. Surgeons at the other hospital performed a triple bypass.

Heart attacks are always a shock, but Keck was particularly surprised because he had just completed a five-kilometer run days before the incident. He experienced an unusual shortness of breath as he began the race, but felt better after walking for a while.

“The last mile was easy,” Keck recalled. “But when I had something to eat after the race, my lower jaw hurt. My cardiologist told me this is a classic symptom of an impending heart attack.”

Keck completed 10 weeks of cardiac rehabilitation and is now doing 40 minutes of cardio exercises a day. He will probably run the five-kilometer race again this November.

Keck has no prior history of hospitalizations, and he has always seen his doctor regularly. For years he has been treated for high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which runs in his family.

Keck was reunited with his care team at Adventist GlenOaks Hospital’s EMS appreciation dinner, held March 22 at Eaglewood Resort & Spa in Itasca.

“While no one ever expects to need a trip to the emergency room, it’s comforting to know excellent care is available from expert physicians and an experienced nursing team here at Adventist GlenOaks Hospital,” said Bruce C. Christian, chief executive officer of Adventist GlenOaks Hospital. “We consider our local EMS providers a critical part of our team. Timeliness, a fast response, and emergency treatment in the ambulance are crucial in saving lives.”

Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. To find a physician, visit

Physicians on the medical staff of Adventist Midwest Health Hospitals are independent contractors, and are not agents of the hospitals.

Media contact: Lisa Parro, senior public relations specialist, Adventist Midwest Health,; 630-856-2354