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Posted by By Angie Hendershot March 14, 2023 on Mar 18th 2023

Heart attack segment on ABC12 saves 47-year-old Davison man's life

Heart attack segment on ABC12 saves 47-year-old Davison man's life
A Davison couple is looking at life differently after a brush with death from a heart attack.

The little things like fishing camping and spending time with their four boys suddenly mean so much more to Corrie and Karl Decator.

"Don't take it for granted is all I'm trying to say," Karl said.

The Decators credit a heart health segment and CPR demonstration on ABC12 for helping them recognize the signs of cardiac distress and getting to a hospital before it was too late.

The Davison couple has been together about a dozen years and married for half of that. But 47-year-old Karl's heart has made them both grow fonder of what they have together.

Each beat now reminds them of what they almost lost had it not been for a story Corrie happened to see on ABC12 a few weeks ago. Corrie works from home and was half listening to a heart health segment on "Good Morning Mid-Michigan."

"They talked symptoms, how they are not the same for everybody and a lot of times we don't recognize it," Corrie said.

So, the next day, when Karl didn't feel well, she was on high alert.

"I'm like what is going on with him," Corrie said. "This isn't like him."

Karl woke up at 4 a.m. and thought had gas or heartburn. He took a shower and remembered having pain in his arm and chest, so he asked himself if he was having a heart attack.

But Karl said the pain was minor, more like discomfort, so he dismissed it.

Karl then drove to work. But the pain was coming back when he arrived about 30 minutes later, so he came home and tried to lay down. When he couldn't get comfortable he went upstairs to talk to Corrie, who is a registered medical assistant.

She pointed out that it's not normal for Karl to get pain down his arm and he confirmed that's what he was feeling. Corrie got more aggressive after that exchange.

"She started yelling at me and freaking out," Karl said.

Corrie said she remembered the ABC12 heart health segment on "Good Morning Mid-Michigan," so she saved his life in her own persuasive way.

"I yelled at him! I gave him colorful language and said, let's go. We have to go to the hospital," Corrie said.

She drove Karl to Ascension Genesys Hospital in Grand Blanc Township, knowing each minute was critical.

"The ER doctor came in and had the EKG paper and said, yeah he is having a heart attack," Corrie said. "I said, 'Oh my gosh. I knew it.'"

Karl's left anterior descending artery was 99% blocked. He was suffering a massive heart attack so deadly it is commonly known as the widow maker.

"For him to survive that is pretty amazing," Corrie said. "The survival rate is like 6% if you aren't at the hospital when it happens."

Karl couldn't believe how serious the situation was until a doctor explained what he survived.

"It didn't hit me, the severity of the situation, until they said we saved your life," he said. "I said, 'Saved my life?' He said, 'Yeah if you hadn't gone to hospital today you wouldn't be alive.'"

If they hadn't gone to the hospital or if Corrie hadn't seen the heart segment on "Good Morning Mid-Michigan," who knows what would have happened.

But thanks to Corrie's quick thinking and strong persuasion, Karl survived and went back to work. He's making healthy choices that hopefully will add years to their life together.

"It makes you think twice about stuff you normally take for granted. Time with your kids -- everything," Karl said.