Good Sam cook's life saved by quick-thinking colleagues
It was just another busy Tuesday afternoon in Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center’s kitchen as its talented team were serving up dinner time favorites for patient room service orders.
That’s when Suresh Kumar, a cook in the Legacy Good Samaritan kitchen for over 16 years, started feeling a tightening sensation in his jaw. He continued with his work and then realized it wasn’t going away.
“I described the odd pain to fellow cook Kim Garcia and she immediately stepped into action,” recalled Kumar.
Garcia, who has been a cook at Good Sam for 29 years, instantly recognized that Kumar was having a heart attack.
Within seconds, she and kitchen supervisor, Nina Narh took Kumar up two floors to Legacy Good Samaritan’s Emergency Department to be evaluated.
“They got me in right away, performed an angiogram and determined I indeed had a heart attack,” said Kumar.
Legacy Good Samaritan Emergency Department physicians placed a stent and admitted Kumar to the hospital for five days.
Kumar feels fortunate he was at work when this happened.
“Without a doubt, Legacy saved my life. If I would have been home or somewhere else alone I don’t know what would have happened to me,” said Kumar.
After experiencing a heart attack without the normal symptoms, Kumar wants to encourage people to listen to their bodies and tell someone if you may be experiencing anything outside of the norm.
“The cooks in our kitchens know more than cooking – they saved my life,” said Kumar.
Kumar not only credits his team with recognizing his symptoms and getting him into the Emergency Department right away, they also stepped into action throughout his recovery.
“We are just like a family in the kitchen. My colleagues took care of my kids and prepared delicious meals my family throughout my recovery. I can’t thank them enough for what they’ve done.”
Today, Kumar is back at work with him team and thriving. He is enrolled in Legacy Good Samaritan’s Cardiac Rehabilitation program three days per week where he is learning how to safely and effectively improve his heart health through exercise and nutrition.
His advice? "Listen to your body and tell someone what you are experiencing. Sometimes you may want to ignore symptoms when but please learn from my story and do not wait until its too late."
Contact Megan Deisler with media-related questions.