“I’m back from the brink”
- Sgt. Fred Arnold
When a 45-year-old Caldwell police sergeant’s life was hanging in the balance,
coordinated medical care and skilled cardiologists
at HackensackUMC Mountainside tipped the scales in his favor.
“I blacked out behind the wheel.”
The last thing I remember was driving my patrol car. When I awakened five days later, I was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at HackensackUMC Mountainside. That’s when I learned I’d suffered cardiac arrest, passed out and crashed into a pole - only to be given a new chance at life by the hospital’s Cardiology team.
“Emergency angioplasty removed a blood clot and opened my artery.”
I was stunned to hear that I’d arrived at the hospital by ambulance with no pulse and an abnormal, potentially lethal heart rhythm. Thankfully, Dr. Domenico Mariano, a board-certified cardiologist, immediately sprang into action. He summoned his colleague, Dr. James Amato, Jr., a board-certified interventional cardiologist, and other specially trained staff to the Cardiac Catheterization Lab where Dr. Amato performed an emergency angioplasty to remove a blood clot from a clogged artery and used two stents to keep it open.
“Arctic Sun technology helped to protect to my brain.”
While I was in cardiac arrest, my brain didn’t receive oxygen and I was unresponsive, so I was transferred to the ICU. I later discovered that while I was under sedation, a state-of-the-art Arctic Sun cooling system was used to lower my body temperature to minimize damage to my brain.
“My entire family will forever be grateful to HackensackUMC Mountainside.”
As I was receiving expert medical care, my wife Julie (accompanied by our youngest, Ethan, age six) arrived at the hospital with a police escort. That fateful day - and those that followed - the staff comforted Julie and kept her informed. They also managed an outpouring of concern and interest from relatives and friends, the Caldwell mayor and council, my colleagues and the local media.
I spent 12 days at HackensackUMC Mountainside and received care in the ED, Cardiac Catheterization Lab, ICU and Telemetry Unit before I was released to a rehabilitation center for the next phase of my recovery. I’m alive today and back at work because of the professionalism and heroic efforts of everyone involved with my case.’”