Man Saved From Massive Heart Attack by Three Barking Dogs

Man Saved From Massive Heart Attack by Three Barking Dogs
Man Saved From Massive Heart Attack by Three Barking Dogs
heart attack
heart attack

Photo by Krisana Antharith / EyeEm via Getty

In an incredibly fortunate series of events, three barking dogs helped save a man suffering a serious heart attack.

In an article for The Hartford Courant, Pam McLoughlin writes about Kirk Valencis, the “fit 57-year-old 5-foot-10, 185-pound man” who narrowly escaped death this past September. Hailing from Bristol, Connecticut, Valencis “was not expected to survive and had to be resuscitated before emergency open heart surgery.”

The luck of three barking dogs

On September 20, Valencis went to his aunt’s house to help her move things. At the time, he was accompanied by his best friend, Robert Prims. Already, Valencis was feeling unwell. As a result, Prims told Valencis to rest at home. After returning to Valencis’ house, Prims got ready to leave. However, as he made his way out the door “the Valencis’ dog and two dogs he and his wife were watching were barking like crazy.”

Prims told Valencis to lie down. Assuringly, he said he would let the dogs out for him. “He wasn’t feeling well, and if I was in his position, I wouldn’t want dogs bothering me,” Prims said.

Unfortunately, after Prims brought the dogs back in, Valencis said his left arm began hurting. Being a heart attack survivor himself, Prims wasted no time. He gave his friend an aspirin and instantly called an ambulance.

According to Kirk’s wife, Dawn Valencis, had Prims not been there, “I would have come home to find [Kirk] dead in the bed.” Amazingly, Mr. Valencis’ luck didn’t end there. Originally, the EMTs planned to take him to Bristol hospital. After performing an EKG, though, the more experienced paramedic suggested UConn Health.

An unbelievable amount of good luck

Arriving at the hospital, cardiac surgeon Dr. Chittoor Sai-Sudhakar said Valencis’ heart “was operating at only five percent.” Unbelievably, the surgeon said Valencis went into cardiac arrest multiple times. “This was someone who was expected to die,” said Dr. Sai-Sudhakar.

Unknowingly, the trio of dogs at the Valencis house helped save Kirk’s life. Peter, a Black Lab, Cooper the Corgi, and Annie, a white mixed breed, unintentionally started a streak of impeccable luck that saved Valencis’ life. Had Prims not responded to their barking and offered to take them out, the situation would’ve been severely different.

“I’m very fortunate to have him here, “said Dawn Valencis. “The odds were totally against him.”

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