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Heart Health Author: Staff Editor Last Updated: Feb 5, 2018 - 1:35:21 PM

Skier Saved After Heart Attack on the Water

By Staff Editor
Feb 5, 2018 - 1:30:30 PM

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( - Quick thinking and high-quality care helped Brian Kanable recover after what could have been a deadly medical emergency. 

Brian Kanable of La Crosse, Wisconsin, could just as easily been mowing his lawn or taking a walk with his wife, Julie, on the morning in late August when he had his heart attack. But he wasn't. The 53-year-old was waterskiing. As a result, Brian not only suffered life-threatening cardiac arrest, he also nearly drowned.

Fortunately for Brian, a host of factors came together to save him. The quick thinking of his waterskiing buddies, the life-saving measures of emergency responders, and the expertise of his care team at Mayo Clinic Health System – Franciscan Healthcare in La Crosse all helped him survive the dual traumas he suffered that day.

"The thing that was remarkable about Brian's success was that it was a fantastic interplay with all of the people involved," says Brian's cardiologist Charles Cagin, D.O.. "It's a demonstration of what happens when everyone from the community all the way through the hospital does their job the way they're supposed to."

Just a few months after the incident, Brian is not only back on his feet, he's amped up and eager to get back on his skis. "I'm going back to the life I was in the day before my heart attack, and it's hopefully better because I have a new heart now," Brian says.

But after his experience that day, he says he won't "take life for granted." Read the rest of the story.


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