Source: Cape May County Herald
While he still faces a long recovery, Brendan McBride believes it’s through the “power of prayers and positive thoughts” that enabled him to survive to have the opportunity to cheer his 5-year-old son at “future sporting events, help him with homework, teach him his craft and trade, and love him with real-life warm hugs again.”
The 49-year-old McBride, a Cape May native who works for Cold Spring Carpentry, was helping another contracting company replace a roof on when he suffered a cardiac event. While McBride said he doesn’t remember anything, his friends and co-workers have relayed to him what happened on that March 8 day.
“Brendan was complaining about heartburn all day, and co-workers noticed he seemed lethargic and tired,” said Lauren Maguire, who is Desmond’s mother and an outpatient mental health counselor at Cape Counseling. “As he was bringing a trash can full of roof debris over to the edge of the roof to empty into a dumpster, his buddy suggested he just leave it and finish the next day. That is when Brendan turned to him, clutched his heart, and began to fall backward off of the roof.
The awnings of the building had been just put up for the season, and Maguire says his co-worker was able to “somehow his co-worker was able to grab the hood of his sweatshirt” and direct McBride’s “now-limp body onto the nearest awning and hold him there until another co-worker and friend could catch him from the ground.”
That co-worker was a former emergency medical technician and a medical professional, so he knew to raise McBride’s legs, pound on his back and begin chest compressions to keep him alive until medical help could arrive. 911 was called, and the ambulance was quickly arrived from three blocks away.
However, McBride died and rescuers had to use the defibrillator paddles three times to revive him. From the ambulance, a Medivac helicopter was close enough to meet him at the National Guard Armory in Crest Haven to fly him to a hospital. Maguire’s office building just happens be within a clear view of the armory.
“I remember seeing a helicopter land and take off, and I realized I was probably watching someone get medically airlifted,” she recalled. “I said a silent prayer. Never did I imagine that I was watching Brendan take off for AtlantiCare Mainland Division Hospital.”
McBride’s artery was 99 percent blocked — an emergency stent saved his life. Maguire continues, “He was then placed into a medically-induced coma to cool down his body temperature for 24 hours and minimize any brain swelling so it could start to heal.
“Three days after Brendan ‘died,’ he showed signs of life. It was a very scary time — we didn’t know if he would ever wake up. We were relieved that he was alive, but also enormously scared about brain damage, amongst other possible health complications,” Maguire added.