Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - 55

PHOTOS BY ISTOCK PHOTOS AND WILLIAM RITTELMEYER

what had happened, he asked me
incredulously: 'Are you telling me that
my brother had an acute heart attack
and VF (ventricular fibrillation) cardiac
arrest while camping on top of a remote
mountain two hours ago? And now he
has complete neurological recovery ...
and a normal echocardiogram?'"
"That was the moment," Gimple says,
"when even I realized the enormity of
what had been accomplished by all of
these people working together."
As for the person at the center of this
story, William Rittelmeyer can only
describe the experience as "surreal." He
calls his children heroes and has loads
of gratitude for the park rangers and
UVA healthcare team. "The true level of
care at UVA Health System was unsurpassed," he says. He doesn't remember
much about the efforts to save his life,
but he does remember someone bringing him an extra meal and a bed for his
wife so she didn't have to leave his side.
He adds, "I don't think I've ever been
treated better anywhere in any hospital
as I was at UVA." ■

William Rittelmeyer calls his two children (standing next to him) heroes for helping
to save his life after a major heart attack while camping. "I fell over dead, and here
I am walking around almost like nothing happened," Rittelmeyer says. His story
amazes even a veteran cardiology doctor who helps save lives every day at UVA.

WEBSITE

Because Minutes Matter
During a heart attack, blood stops flowing to the heart
muscle. The faster you get treatment, the better chance you
have of surviving and preserving healthy heart tissue. UVA
Health System doctors open blocked arteries 13 minutes
faster than the national average, according to data from the
American College of Cardiology. Learn how at uvahealth.com/
heart-attack-treatment.

Would You Know What to Do?
Billy Rittelmeyer never expected to use his CPR (cardiopulmonary
resuscitation) training to save his father's life. Find a CPR class
near you at redcross.org/take-a-class/cpr.

WINTE R 2017

55


http://www.uvahealth.com/heart-attack-treatment http://www.uvahealth.com/heart-attack-treatment http://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/cpr

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia

Contents
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - Cover1
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - Cover2
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - Contents
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - 2
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - 3
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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - Cover3
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - Cover4
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