A deep sleep following a temporary loss of oxygen

How quickly I learn to say “anoxia-induced coma” without scaring people.

I last talked to my father by cell 2 PM Saturday, as I was getting soup for myself and my wife. At 3PM he suffered a heart attack and had labored breathing, while sitting near my mother. For about seven minutes after that my mother gave him chest compressions, and then the paramedics arrived. After two shocks and thirteen minutes be began breathing again.

He has not woken up.

The question “How many minutes was he without oxygen?” gets different answers depending on who you ask. The highest number we have heard is twenty, which is pretty universally fatal. However, assuming that the compressions were getting air to the lungs, and the paramedics were able to force air in after working on him, the real period may be significantly shorter.

Considering that yesterday morning we were asked questions about what to do in case there was a second heart attack, and told the good news was that there was not brain stem damage, things are OK. Now they talk about nutritional needs, the stages of long-term rehabilitation, and such. We were told “He will not just wake up, open his eyes, and start talking. It doesn’t work like that.” But if guarded, realistic optimism is optimism, then we are optimistic.

My wife and I prayed for him last night. We would appreciate yours.