Auburn man survives heart attack thanks to pit bull, specialized care
SACRAMENTO — If it wasn’t for his 1-year-old pit bull, Auburn’s Sandy Hoehne said he wouldn’t be alive.
It was a warm day in March 2007. Hoehne, 56, was in the backyard of his Auburn home while his wife Ellen tended to the garden in the front yard.
Sandy Hoehne suffered a serious heart attack. There was no one around to come to his rescue, except for his pup Scooby.
“Scooby got Ellen and dragged her into the backyard,” Sandy Hoehne said Thursday. “Then she took over.”
Ellen Hoehne said she’d come into the house to check on dinner when she noticed Scooby going “nuts.”
“He got me by the sleeve and made me go outside,” Ellen Hoehne said. “(Sandy) was slumped in the backyard. He was literally dead.”
Ellen preformed CPR while paramedics were summoned.
“I told him, ‘you’re not going to die,” she said.
Sandy Hoehne, and other survivors, were honored Thursday during a celebration of life at Sutter Memorial Hospital in Sacramento.
But it took more than Scooby. It was a series of events and life-saving measure that ultimately led to Sandy Hoehne’s recovery.
Hoehne was reunited with his doctor and representatives of the company Abiomed, which manufactures the AB5000 ventricular device that kept Sandy Hoehne’s blood flowing and gave his heart time to rest.
“He was gravely ill,” said Hoehne’s doctor, Robert Kincade. “I’m amazed he’s doing so well.”
When transported to Sutter Auburn Faith, Sandy Hoehne was in grave condition.
“They didn’t expect him to survive the ride from Auburn to Sacramento,” Ellen Hoehne said. “He wasn’t expected to live.”
Sandy Hoehne spent nearly a month attached to the artificial ventricular device that worked in place of his ailing heart.
Larry Quinn, of Abiomed, explained that valves are attached from the ailing heart to the temporary device. The exterior hanging apparatus pumps blood through the body the heart would.
Without advanced medical technology, his wife’s knowledge of CPR and, of course, Scooby, Sandy Hoehne would most likely have died from the heart attack.
“I was very fortunate to have Scooby with me at the time,” Sandy Hoehne said
Scooby was originally rescued by the Hoehnes from certain death. The pooch was headed for the pound.
“He’s the sweetest dog you’ve ever seen,” Ellen Hoehne said.
Since the miraculous rescue the Hoehne’s have given away their life-saving pooch .
“A friend has him now,” Ellen Hoehne said. “He’s on duty as a search-and-rescue dog. Apparently he was good at it.”
Gary Zavoral, spokesman for Sutter Health, said it was all a win-win situation.
The Hoehnes saved Scooby, who in turn saved Sandy and now the pup will work to save others, he said,.
“It’s a Lassie-type story,” Zavoral said. “Like when Timmy fell into the well.”
Resource: Auburn Journal