• By Dana Sparks

Sharing Mayo Clinic: Skier saved after heart attack on the water

February 4, 2018

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.
This article originally appeared on the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog.