KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- When a man suffered a massive heart attack during FOX4's Red Friday morning show special, quick action helped save his life, action taken by FOX4 traffic reporter Kerri Stowell and several others who began giving CPR.
Doctors say Dan Boos likely would have died without CPR. Stowell said she was thankful to be in the right place at the right time. She learned CPR as a lifeguard but said it was truly a team effort that saved Boos' life.
The group took turns, relieving one another when someone got tired. Nobody had time to stop and think about what had happened. They just knew that every second counted.
Reliving Red Friday
Before the Kansas City Chiefs' home opener against the San Francisco 49ers, FOX4 hosted dozens of fans for a special Red Friday show at our studio, featuring super fans like Boos. He arrived in his custom Chiefs bus. The avid tailgater hadn't missed a home game in 29 years.
While we learned a lot about Boos and other fans that day, we also learned that the warnings signs for a heart attack can come on fast and without warning.
"I don't remember my arms going numb or anything like that. I just remember not feeling good and going down," Boos recalled.
That morning it was 68 degrees outside, but Boos was seen on camera wiping sweat off of his forehead, a potential sign that something was wrong. Moments after his interview ended, he collapsed.
"There was no pulse. There was nothing. It was the freakiest thing. Nothing. And that's when I yelled, 'Call 911!'" wife Terri Boos told FOX4.
"When he arrived at Saint Luke's Hospital, he was as sick as he could be without not making it," Dr. John Saxon said.
"The information we knew at that moment was that he had collapsed, people had witnessed it, and there was a bystander who did CPR very quickly."
Saxon is the cardiologist who performed Boos' emergency surgery. He said CPR kept Boos' blood flowing to his brain for close to an hour, all the way from FOX4 to the operating room.
"He had come up from the ER and had no blood pressure and no pulse, so the entire way up from the ER he had to get chest compressions," Saxon said.
"There must have been eight or 10 people around, and they were all taking turns, and the nurse said, 'Say something. Talk to him.' And that's when I knew it was really bad because they were trying to get him to hear me to get him to fight because he wasn't going to make it," Terri Boos said.
A major heart artery was completely blocked. Saxon showed FOX4 where he placed a stent -- re-establishing blood flow. Still, his chance of survival was low. Doctors said it was around 5 percent.
"Five percent is nothing, and he made it through 24 hours. And the next day, we are going to see how he does, and he made it through another 24 hours. They were amazed. They were truly amazed," Terri Boos said.
Boos became known as "The Miracle Guy."
"I woke up in the hospital 12 days later," Boos said. "Each one started telling me what happened, and at the time I was still a little unconscious, not 100 percent, so I was just happy to be there and see my family. I thought about my daughters and my wife a lot. It gave me the strength to keep going."
Focused on family and health
Now, Boos has changed his diet and goes to physical therapy three times a week. He's also committed to sharing his story, hoping it will help someone else.
"I've got a second chance. I know how much it meant to me when you stepped in and helped save my life," he said.
"CPR saved his life. Along with the doctor, but CPR saved his life," Terri Boos said.
Boos said he has a new perspective on life now.
He hangs on to the Patrick Mahomes jersey he was wearing the day he nearly died, the one paramedics cut off of him. It's a reminder that life is short and to live each day to the fullest, with his bride of 31 years.
"I just can`t imagine life without him. He's pretty much the one that holds us together," Terri Boos said.
"Just knowing that I have a second chance and I`m capable of pretty much doing anything I set my mind to is pretty huge," Dan Boos said.
There's also a test you can take to find out if you are at risk for heart disease. CardioScan looks at the plaque buildup in arteries and takes less than 10 minutes to complete. It costs $50, and you get the results back in about an hour.
Warning signs of a heart attack
What happened to Dan Boos was as frightening as it was sudden. Here are some common warning signs of a heart attack:
- Severe chest pain or pressure
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Pain in one or both arms
- Stomach discomfort that feels like indigestion
- Dizziness or feeling like you're going to pass out
- Cold sweat
The symptoms are the same for women, but women are more likely than men to have symptoms unrelated to chest pains, such as:
- Jaw pain or pain that spreads to the jaw
- Sudden fatigue or unusual fatigue lasting for several days
- Sleep disturbances
- Nausea or vomiting
A woman's symptoms may occur more often while resting -- even asleep.
These aren't necessarily the only warning signs, but doctors recommend that if you're experiencing any of these symptoms that you call 911 immediately.