Lifesaving device available here

By ANDREW TANGEL State Journal Staff Writer Published:

Arthur Sheets might have died were it not for a heart-starting device that Frankfort Regional Medical Center is finally able to install.

Heart trouble runs in Sheets' family. He had quintuple bypass surgery a decade ago, and since then his heart has beaten too fast, thanks to a condition known as dysrhythmia, and doesn't pump as much blood as it should.

And on a Friday night last month, the 75-year-old's heart almost gave out.

"It was just like I was racing," Sheets said.

His daughter, Vicki Sheets, 37, heard her father breathing strangely, in a soft whimper, from his bedroom at 2:30 a.m. She found her father in a startling state. "He had actually started changing colors," she said. So she slapped him, he came to and was rushed to the hospital where Dr. Arif Omar later inserted into his chest a device called an internal cardiac defibrillator, which shocks the heart back to life when it stops.

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