He Was Just 24

Garcia FamilyPer his usual weekday morning routine, Michael Garcia was at his local health club. Suddenly, he dropped to the ground going into cardiac arrest. Friends nearby rushed to his side and began CPR. Michael was transported to Skagit Regional Health’s Heart and Vascular Institute where it was determined Michael’s heart attack was brought about by ventricular tachycardia or “VT.” This abnormal heart rhythm occurs when the lower chamber of the heart beats too fast to pump well and the body doesn’t receive enough oxygenated blood.

Michael’s cardiac issue required urgent treatment. “The team first implanted a defibrillator to regulate my heart rhythm. Next, they performed a catheter ablation to pinpoint where the arrhythmia started,” he explained. This minimally invasive process stops the electrical impulses that cause the arrhythmia. Michael’s life-saving procedure is one of many performed in the cath lab.

“This experience was an eye-opener for me. At 24, I thought, what was my life going to be like,” he said.

Because of the quick CPR performed by friends, his physicians’ diagnosis and the catheterization treatment available right here, Michael leads a joyfilled, robust life raising three girls and a 10-month old son while running a landscape supply business with his life companion and business partner, Tonya.

In 2022, on the 10th anniversary of his cardiac arrest, Michael had a new defibrillator implanted. “It’s unreal to think I have already lived a decade plus since my first procedure. I received a second chance at raising a family, achieving wealth and, most importantly, another shot at leading a full life!”